Revised: Sept. 27, 2018
The City Council reviewed the proposed 2019 city budget at a workshop meeting at 4 p.m. on Sept. 12, at the Public Safety facility's education and training conference rooms at 2100 Radio Drive. At the workshop, the Council discussed city services and funding levels for 2019, as well as a variety of issues that impact the 2019 property tax levy.
As part of the 2019 budget process, annual rate adjustments are considered to appropriately maintain funding levels for city services such as: emergency medical services (EMS), water and sewer utility, storm water utility, street lighting utility, and our city-run ice / field house arena and golf course. Since these public services are not funded by tax dollars, except for EMS which is partially funded by the tax levy, they are supported by rates and fees. Several rate increase considerations are included with the proposed 2019 budget and were presented to Council at the workshop meeting.
The most significant consideration was given to increasing the water and sewer utility rates for a second consecutive year. The budget proposed a $0.10 per 1,000 gallon increase to the water rate and a $1.04 per quarter city sanitary sewer flat rate increase along with a 6.3 percent pass-through wastewater treatment cost increase from the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services. Although rate increases were implemented with the 2018 budget, there are still challenges impacting the water and sewer utility reserves. These challenges center on a revised infrastructure renewal and replacement plan, new debt service for the Public Works building project, continued annual meter replacement program, and revised revenue estimates.
The irrigation rate proposal included an increase of $0.21 per 1,000 gallons based on a five year plan approved by City Council in 2016. This will be the third step increase of the five year plan.
Storm water utility charges were proposed to increase $0.55 per quarter to continue to fund the storm water pond maintenance program and replacement of storm water infrastructure.
Lastly, the EMS rates proposal consisted of a three percent increase to fund the request to raise staffing levels to 11 full-time paramedics. The additional staffing addresses the continued growth and changes to the EMS response model and remains in-line with the Council approved EMS staffing plan.
These potential impacts were discussed in detail at the workshop meeting and any increases will be presented for approval at a Council meeting in December with the adoption of the 2019 Fee Ordinance. With the city's active management to the utility rates, we will still have one of the lowest average water bill amongst our comparable cities.
The preliminary property tax levy for truth-in-taxation purposes was adopted at the Sept. 26 City Council meeting. The charts and tables below reflect the resolutions adopted by the City Council. The full proposed budget document, as presented at the Sept. 12 workshop, is available at the bottom of this page.
Property Tax Levy
The preliminary 2019 total levy (including the HRA levy) is $35,908,683 or 5.21 percent above last year, which is above our 15-year historic average increase of 4.7 percent. Included is a preliminary debt levy of $330,141 to fund the city's share of a joint East Metro Public Safety Training Facility with the City of Cottage Grove. Excluding this debt levy, the increase would be 4.25 percent which is below the 4.7 percent historic average. The chart below illustrates how the preliminary 2019 property tax levy compares to previous years.
The preliminary budget reflects an increase of 4.7 percent in the General Fund, which is the primary operating budget of the city. For 2019, the General Fund budget is estimated to be $35,685,750. This compares to the $34,092,500 budget for 2018.
Property taxes at $25.3 million account for 70 percent of the General Fund revenues. This is an increase of $1,139,587 from the General Fund budget for 2018. Other sources of revenue include development and permit fees from new home and business construction, intergovernmental and miscellaneous revenues, charges for various services, and transfers from other funds.
2019 Expenditures - All Budgeted Funds
Total city expenditures for 2019 are estimated at $87,005,355. This includes the General Fund and all other city funds, such as the emergency medical services, water and sewer utility, storm water utility, Eagle Valley Golf Course, HealthEast Sports Center, and others.
|Fund||Adjusted 2018||Preliminary 2019|
|Public Safety Activities||$113,900||$222,300|
|Emergency Medical Services||$2,800,300||$3,543,100|
|Fire Relief Pension||$410,000||$415,000|
|Housing and Urban Development (HUD)||$633,939||$561,000|
|Economic Development Authority (EDA)||$78,300||$78,100|
|Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA)||$778,600||$670,500|
|Water & Sewer Utility||$14,724,604||$13,678,650|
|Storm Water Utility||$2,610,610||$3,111,900|
|Street Lighting Utility||$514,600||$548,400|
|HealthEast Sports Center Ice Arena / Field House||$1,895,680||$1,783,880|
|Eagle Valley Golf Course||$1,458,300||$1,473,900|
|Debt Service Funds||$5,773,000||$7,299,100|
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 $31 in 2019. This assumes the parcel experiences a 5.4 percent increase in estimated market value.
|Actual Taxes Payable 2018|
|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|
|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||$805||$1,037||$1,177||$1,537|
|Estimated Dollar Change|
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). 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 finishing a basement or adding a three-season porch.
An update will be provided on the preliminary budget and property taxy levy at a Nov. 14 City Council workshop meeting. This allows Council the ability to ask additional questions and provide direction prior to the truth-in-taxation public meeting scheduled for the Dec. 12 City Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. The City Council also will adopt the property tax levy and budget for 2019 at the same Dec. 12 meeting.
The full proposed budget document, as presented at the Sept. 12 workshop, may be viewed below, in the Finance Department at City Hall, and at the R.H. Stafford (Washington County) Library, 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury. For more information, call the Finance Department at (651) 714-3500 or send an email to email@example.com.
2019 Proposed Annual City Budget