Spring Lake Park reduces budget

The Spring Lake Park Truth in Taxation hearing was a little bit of good news and bad news.

The bad news is that the property values went down considerably again this year, said City Administrator Barb Nelson.

According to Anoka County Assessor Mike Sutherland, overall property tax values dropped 11.3 percent in Spring Lake Park for taxes payable in 2013.

Residential property values dropped 12.3 percent and the commercial/industrial property values dropped 13.5 percent, he said.

The values, based on actual property sales, “will hopefully bottom out and we can turn the corner and see our values increase,” Nelson said at the Dec. 3 meeting.

The good news is the city’s general fund budget was reduced by 14.9 percent, she said.

The general fund budget was $3,968,642 in 2012 and it is expected to be $3,409,447 in 2013, Nelson said.

Spring Lake Park’s proposed tax levy, which is expected to be approved at the Dec. 17 council meeting, is also set to decrease.

The tax levy is proposed to decrease by 22.18 percent, Nelson said.

Changes made to help the city bring down the levy to $2,588,960, $737,810 less than 2012, include reducing the city administrator’s hours, while other funds were used to pay for what the city would normally levy.

With Nelson working 20 hours as part of her phased retirement and Assistant City Administrator Dan Buchholtz, who will replace her, making less than she did as a 30-year employee, the administration budget is less, Nelson said.

The city also used excess funds from its 2004 refunding bond issue for a 2001 street project to pay for the special levies, she said.

The levies included funds for the 2013 payment of $52,711 on the 20-year general obligation capital improvement fire bond, which was issued in 2006 to build Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department Station 3, $315,000 for the 1999 general obligation refunding bond, which was used for capital purchases and $47,070 to pay off the 1999 certificate of participation bond, used to pay for the expansion of the police department.

The 2013 payment was the final payment on the 1999 certificate of participation bond, Nelson said.

There were no public comments at the hearing.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]