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2019 City Budget Highlights

The Woodbury City Council adopted the 2019 city budget on Dec. 12, 2018. 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. 12, 2018. The budget was discussed at numerous Council meetings and workshops between May and December.

Property Tax Levy 
The adopted 2019 total property tax levy (including the HRA property tax levy) is $35,753,983 or 4.8 percent above last year, which is slightly above our 15-year historic average increase of 4.7 percent. A one percent increase in the levy is attributable to the $324,395 new debt levy approved to fund the city’s share of a joint Public Safety Training Center (HERO Center) project with the City of Cottage Grove. The chart below illustrates how the 2019 property tax levy compares to previous years.
 
Property Tax Levy Changes 2019

The 2019 total levy of $35.8 million is a combination of property tax funding of the General Fund, EMS Fund, Public Safety Training Center Fund, Street Reconstruction/Maintenance Fund, Capital Improvement Fund, Debt Service Funds, Tax Abatement Fund, and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Fund.

General Fund 
For 2019, the General Fund budget, which is the city's main operating fund, totals $35,701,950. This compares to the $34,214,837 adjusted budget for 2018, representing a 4.3 percent increase. Property taxes at $25.1 million account for 70 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
 
2017 Actual
Adjusted Budget 2018
Budget 2019
Increase/Decrease Over 2018
Taxes $23,294,017 $23,803,284 $24,779,388 $976,104
Licenses $425,334 $430,150 $416,400 ($13,750)
Development Fees and Permits $5,250,012 $3,433,100 $3,628,100 $195,000
Intergovernmental $1,419,789 $1,443,947 $1,531,400 $87,453
Recreation Fees $1,039,499 $1,101,000 $1,104,300 $3,300
Charges for Services $937,161 $974,190 $987,800 $13,610
Fines and Forfeits $311,907 $362,500 $323,000 ($39,500)
Investment Revenue $229,322 $275,000 $370,000 $95,000
Miscellaneous Revenue $140,650 $136,666 $143,062 $6,396
Transfers In $2,210,088 $2,255,000 $2,418,500 $163,500
Total $35,257,779 $34,214,837 $35,701,950 $1,487,113

2019 Expenditures - All Budgeted Funds
Total city expenditures for 2019 are estimated at $92.8 million. This includes the General Fund and all other annually budgeted 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 Budget 2018
Budget 2019
General $34,214,837 $35,701,950
Public Safety Training Center $4,750,000 $174,562
Administrative Fee $515,750 $600,250
Public Safety Activities $155,033 $271,900
Emergency Medical Services $2,800,300 $3,546,300
Fire Relief Pension $410,000 $430,000
Housing and Urban Development   (HUD) $822,003 $529,730
Economic Development Authority   (EDA) $78,300 $78,100
Housing and Redevelopment   Authority (HRA) $778,600 $670,500
Park Dedication $2,995,723 $1,267,300
Street   Reconstruction/Maintenance $13,133,213 $14,929,100
Capital Improvement $8,806,298 $4,741,800
Community Investment $  - $150,000
Water & Sewer Utility $16,996,697 $14,019,150
Storm Water Utility $2,610,610 $3,318,280
Street Lighting Utility $514,600 $548,400
HealthEast Sports Center  $1,525,675 $1,410,850
Eagle Valley Golf Course $1,458,300 $1,473,800
Risk Management $1,839,450 $1,895,100
Debt Service Funds $5,773,000 $7,015,000
Total $100,178,389 $92,772,072


Levy and Taxes

City taxes on a residential parcel valued at $296,700 -- the median value for taxes payable in 2018 -- are estimated to increase $27 in 2019. This assumes the parcel experiences a 5.4 percent increase in estimated market value.

Property Tax Comparison (city taxes only)

Actual Taxes Payable 2018    
  $237,200  Residential Value Median Residential Value $332,100 Residential Value  $427,000 Residential Value
Estimated market value $237,200 $296,700 $332,100 $427,000
Homestead value exclusion ($15,900) ($10,500) ($7,400) $ -
Taxable market value $221,300 $286,200 $324,700 $427,000
Net city tax $779 $1,006 $1,141 $1,499

 

Estimated Taxes Payable 2019   
  $250,000  Residential Value Median Residential Value $350,000 Residential Value  $450,000 Residential Value
Estimated market value $250,000 $312,600 $350,000 $450,000
Homestead value exclusion ($14,700) ($9,100) ($5,700) $ -
Taxable market value $235,300 $303,500 $344,300 $450,000
Net city tax $801 $1,033 $1,172 $1,531

Dollar change

$22

$27

$31

$32


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 25 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 2019 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 $86 per month. This is about $2.25 more than the 2018 amount per month.

Street Reconstruction/Maintenance 
For fiscal year 2019, a 5.5% or $180,504 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.

Public Safety Training Center (HERO Center)
A key project resulting in the property tax levy increase is the city’s contribution and partnership with the City of Cottage Grove to construct a new regional public safety training facility to be located in Cottage Grove. This facility will provide an immersive training center for our integrated public safety model of police, fire and emergency medical services. Through a partnership with the State of Minnesota and Cottage Grove, the state provided $1.46 million for predesign and design of the building and $9.5 million bonding appropriation to construction and equip the facility. In 2018, City Council approved an internal loan of $4.75 million for Woodbury’s contribution towards the project. Starting with taxes payable in 2019, $324,395 is included in the property tax levy for the annual internal loan payment. The loan terms starting with issuance on October 1, 2018 include a 20-year amortization with 3.16 percent interest rate.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) 
A three percent rate increase was implemented with the 2019 adopted budget for EMS to fund staffing levels of 11 full-time paramedics. The staffing levels address the continued growth and changes to the EMS response model and remains in-line with the Council approved staffing plan.   

Water and Sewer Rates 
For 2019, city water and sanitary sewer rates will increase for the second consecutive year. The city water rate per usage tier will be increasing 10 cents per thousand gallons along with the city's sanitary sewer utility rate increasing $1.04 per quarter. These increases will support the challenges of funding major water and sewer infrastructure improvements, new debt service for the Public Works building project, and continued annual meter replacement program. 

The sanitary sewer flow charges passed along from the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) are increasing due to Woodbury's increased use of the regional sanitary sewer system and are reflected as a 6.3 percent increase for the MCES portion of sanitary sewer utility rates. This is the fourth consecutive year the city has passed through the MCES rate increase. For more information regarding the MCES charges, please refer to the Metropolitan Council website.

In addition, the irrigation rate for commercial and homeowner association properties will increase from $2.53 to $2.74 per thousand gallons. This was based on a previously approved five-step plan by Council in 2016.

Storm Water Rates 
The cost for a single-family residence in 2019 will increase from $18.75 to $19.30 per quarter. This increase is funding the pond maintenance programs and the replacement of storm water infrastructure.

Street Light Rates 
Based on the proposed rate structure for 2019 from Xcel Energy, no rate increases were implemented with the 2019 adopted budget for street lighting.

HRA Levy 
For 2019, the HRA is to be funded by a $250,000 property tax levy which is the same from 2018. 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 
When available, the approved 2019 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 Woodbury branch of the Washington County Library after publication. For more information, call the Finance Department at (651) 714-3502 or send an email to finance@woodburymn.gov.