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2018 City Budget Highlights

The Woodbury City Council adopted the 2018 city budget on Dec. 13, 2017. The action capped a process that began in May, when city departments began preparing their budget requests, and culminated with the public meeting on Dec. 13, 2017. The budget was discussed at numerous Council meetings and workshops between May and December.

Property Tax Levy 
The adopted 2018 total property tax levy (including the HRA property tax levy) is $34,129,643 or 3.8 percent above last year, which is below our 15-year historic average increase of 4.6 percent. The chart below illustrates how the 2018 property tax levy compares to previous years, and shows the 2018 levy is the eighth lowest increase in 15 years.

Property Tax Levy Changes

The 2018 total levy of $34.1 million is a combination of property tax funding of the General Fund, EMS Fund, Street Reconstruction/Maintenance Fund, Capital Improvement Fund, Debt Service Funds, Tax Abatement Fund, and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Fund.

General Fund 
For 2018, the General Fund budget, which is the city's main operating fund, totals $34,092,500. This compares to $32,733,168 for 2017, representing a 4.2 percent increase. Property taxes at $24.1 million account for 71 percent of the General Fund revenues. Other sources of revenue include development fees and permits from new home and business construction, charges for various services, miscellaneous revenues, and transfers from other funds.

General Fund Estimated Revenues
Actual 2016
Budget 2017
Budget 2018
Over 2017
Taxes (Net) $22,300,592 $22,819,865 $23,803,284 $983,419
Licenses $437,568 $446,600 $430,150 $(16,450)
Development Fees & Permits $4,557,218 $3,276,000 $3,422,000 $146,000
Intergovernmental  $1,629,073 $1,381,500 $1,364,000 $(17,500)
Recreation Fees $986,379 $1,001,000 $1,101,000 $100,000
Charges for Services $942,291 $944,000 $944,900 $900
Fines and Forfeits $335,158 $360,500 $362,500 $2,000
Investment Revenue $163,951 $185,000 $275,000 $90,000
Miscellaneous Revenue $290,353 $108,615 $134,666 $26,051
Transfers In $2,312,399 $2,210,088 $2,255,000 $44,912
Total $33,954,982 $32,733,168 $34,092,500 $1,359,332 

2018 Expenditures - All Budgeted Funds
Total city expenditures for 2018 are estimated at $84.1 million. This includes the General Fund and all other city funds, such as the water and sewer utility, storm water utility, emergency medical services, Eagle Valley Golf Course, HealthEast Sports Center, and others.

Adopted Expenditures - All Budgeted Funds
Fund Adjusted 2017 Budget 2018
General $32,733,168   $34,092,500
Administration Fee $515,000 $515,750
Public Safety Activities $107,134 $105,600
Emergency Medical Services $2,752,781 $2,800,300
Fire Relief Pension $405,000 $410,000
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) $682,897 $294,600
Economic Development Authority (EDA) $78,376 $78,300
Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) $772,849 $778,600
Park Dedication $78,650 $1,852,100
Street Reconstruction/Maintenance $10,074,543 $11,590,000
Capital Improvement $3,663,750 $3,755,000
Community Investment $897,695 $ -
Water & Sewer Utility $12,873,846 $14,373,400
Storm Water Utility $2,709,925 $2,001,500
Street Lighting Utility $514,571 $514,600
HealthEast Sports Center Ice Arena / Field House $2,034,629 $1,895,680
Eagle Valley Golf Course $2,688,792 $1,458,300
Risk Management $1,702,124 $1,839,450
Debt Service Funds $6,209,956 $5,773,000
Total $81,495,686 $84,128,680

Levy and Taxes
City taxes on a residential parcel valued at $277,800 -- the median value for taxes payable in 2017 -- are estimated to increase $31 in 2018. This assumes the parcel experiences a 6.8 percent increase in estimated market value.

Property Tax Comparison (city taxes only)

Actual Taxes Payable 2017
  $234,100  Residential Value Median Residential Value $327,700 Residential Value  $421,400 Residential Value
Estimated market value $234,100 $277,800 $327,700 $421,400
Homestead value exclusion $(16,200) $(12,200) $(7,700) -
Taxable market value $217,900 $265,600 $320,000 $421,400
Net city tax $799 $973 $1,172 $1,542
Estimated Taxes Payable 2018
  $250,000 Residential Value Median Residential Value $350,000 Residential Value $450,000 Residential Value
Estimated market value $250,000 $296,700 $350,000 $450,000
Homestead value exclusion $(14,700) $(10,500) $(5,700) -
Taxable market value $235,300 $286,200 $344,300 $450,000
Net city tax $826 $1,004 $1,208 $1,577
Dollar change $27 $31 $36 $35

It's important to note that market values, and thus taxes, do not increase or decrease the same for all properties. The net city tax may increase if a property has a market value increase due to improvements that add value, such as adding a basement or adding a three-season porch. To help residents better understand the local property tax system, The League of Minnesota Cities has provided a FAQ resource - Why Your Property Taxes Change from Year to Year.

City taxes constitute about 26 percent of the total property tax bill for Woodbury homeowners residing in the South Washington School District (amounts will vary somewhat for other school districts). 

Under the 2018 adopted budget, the average homeowner receives police and fire protection; snow plowing and street maintenance; park development and maintenance; recreational programs and facilities; and many other services for about $84 per month. This is about $3 more than the 2017 amount per month.

Street Reconstruction/Maintenance 
For fiscal year 2018, a 5.5% or $171,093 increase in the property tax levy has been incorporated to meet the long-term funding plan developed from the Street Major Maintenance Task Force recommendations.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) 
No rate increases were implemented with the 2018 adopted budget for EMS.   

Water and Sewer Rates 
The Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) sewer flow charges for 2018 will increase 1.6 percent.  In years of high precipitation in the region, other cities with more Intrusion & Infiltration (I&I) water going through sanitary sewer treatment plants are charged a higher percentage of the treatment costs. Conversely, during low precipitation years the city's MCES charges will actually increase due to a higher percentage of sanitary sewer discharged through the treatment plants. These charges represent approximately 50 percent of the sanitary sewer utility operating budget.  Utility fees and no property taxes support either the water or sewer utility enterprises. 

For 2018, city water rates will increase along with a change to the water usage tiers. The base city water rate and tier will be going from 88 cents per thousand gallons under tier usage of 1,000 - 30,000 gallons to $1.25 per thousand gallons under tier usage of 1,000 - 25,000 gallons. The city's sanitary sewer utility rates will also increase from $21.74 to $26 per quarter. These increases will support a new strategy for funding major water and sewer infrastructure improvements. 

In addition, the irrigation rate for commercial and homeowner association properties will increase from $2.32 to $2.53 per thousand gallons. This was based on a previously approved five-step plan by Council in 2016.

The sanitary sewer flow charges passed along from the MCES are increasing due to Woodbury's increased use of the regional sanitary sewer system and are reflected as a 1.6 percent increase for the MCES portion of sanitary sewer utility rates. This is the third consecutive year the city has passed through the MCES rate increase.

Storm Water Rates 
The cost for a single-family residence in 2018 will increase from $18.30 to $18.75 per quarter. This increase is funding the pond maintenance programs of the city for over 500 storm water ponds and the replacement of storm water infrastructure.

Street Light Rates 
Based on the proposed rate structure for 2018 from Xcel Energy, no rate increases were implemented with the 2018 adopted budget for street lighting.

HRA Levy 
For 2018, the HRA is to be funded by a $250,000 property tax levy which is the same from 2017. Additional revenues from a federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME grant will help supplement HRA programs. The property tax impact is estimated to be $7 for the median value home. The HRA property tax levy is included under "other special taxing districts" on your property tax bill.

More information 
The complete 2018 adopted budget document may be viewed on the city's website and in the Finance Department located at City Hall, 8301 Valley Creek Road. It will also be available at the R.H. Stafford (Washington County) Library, 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury. For more information, call the Finance Department at (651) 714-3502 or send an email to