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2020 City Budget Highlights

The Woodbury City Council adopted the 2020 city budget on Dec. 11, 2019. 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. 11, 2019. The budget was discussed at numerous Council meetings and workshops between May and December.

Property Tax Levy 
The adopted 2020 total property tax levy (including the HRA property tax levy) is $37,914,972 or 6 percent above last year, which is above our 15-year historic average increase of 4.5 percent. Included in the adopted levy is $500,000 to fund the new Parks and Trails Replacement Fund using $255,745 from expiring debt levies with the balance of $244,255 being an addition to the property tax levy. Excluding the new Parks and Trails Replacement Fund tax levy, the increase would be 4.6 percent which is in-line with the 4.5 percent historic average. The chart below illustrates how the 2020 property tax levy compares to previous years.

Property Tax Levy Changes 2020

The 2020 total levy of $37.9 million is a combination of property tax funding of the General Fund, EMS Fund, Public Safety Training Center Fund, Capital Improvement Fund, Street Reconstruction/Maintenance Fund, Parks and Trails Replacement Fund, Debt Service Funds, Tax Abatement Fund, and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Fund.

General Fund 
For 2020, the General Fund budget, which is the city's main operating fund, totals $37,674,650. This compares to the $35,701,950 adopted budget for 2019, representing a 5.5 percent increase. Property taxes at $26.7 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, intergovernmental revenues from other government grants and aids, charges for various services, miscellaneous revenues, and transfers from other funds.

General Fund Estimated Revenues
 
2018 Actual

Budget 2019

Budget 2020
Increase/Decrease Over 2019
Taxes $24,100,848 $24,779,388 $26,368,895 $1,589,507
Licenses $464,696 $416,400 $474,300 $57,900
Development Fees and Permits $4,784,600 $3,628,100 $3,825,000 $196,900
Intergovernmental $1,501,832 $1,531,400 $1,647,200 $115,800
Recreation Fees $1,062,472 $1,104,300 $1,053,000 $(51,300)
Charges for Services $1,027,208 $1,013,593 $1,072,082 $58,489
Fines and Forfeits $280,411 $323,000 $235,000 $(88,000)
Investment Revenue $343,473 $370,000 $430,000 $60,000
Miscellaneous Revenue $74,937 $117,269 $74,173 $(43,096)
Transfers In $2,255,000 $2,418,500 $2,495,000 $76,500
Total $35,895,477 $35,701,950 $37,674,650 $1,972,700

2020 Expenditures - All Budgeted Funds
Total city expenditures for 2020 are estimated at $100.2 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
Budget
2019   
Budget
2020
General $35,701,950 $37,674,650
Public Safety Training Center $174,562 $208,715
Administrative Fee $600,250 $620,250
Public Safety Activities $271,900 $276,800
Emergency Medical Services $3,546,300 $3,136,900
Fire Relief Pension $430,000 $440,000
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) $529,730 $553,011
Economic Development Authority (EDA) $78,100 $228,200
Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) $670,500 $766,600
Park Dedication $1,267,300 $544,700
Community Investment $150,000 -
Capital Improvement $4,741,800 $5,013,000
M.S.A. Roadway Construction n/a $19,132,131
Tax Increment District 13 n/a $108,000
Tax Increment District 15 n/a $1,500
Tax Abatement Plan I-94 Region - $1,500
Street Reconstruction/Maintenance $14,929,100 $4,035,500
Water & Sewer Utility $14,019,150 $14,010,922
Storm Water Utility $3,318,280 $2,257,268
Street Lighting Utility $548,400 $559,800
HealthEast Sports Center  $1,410,850 $1,780,300
Eagle Valley Golf Course $1,473,800 $1,464,900
Risk Management $1,895,100 $1,762,700
Debt Service Funds $7,015,000 $5,645,000
Total $92,772,072 $100,222,347

Levy and Taxes
City taxes on a residential parcel valued at $312,600 -- the median value for taxes payable in 2019 -- are estimated to increase $30 in 2020. This assumes the parcel experiences a 4.7 percent increase in estimated market value.

Property Tax Comparison (city taxes only)

Actual Taxes Payable 2019    
  $238,800  Residential Value Median Residential Value $334,300 Residential Value  $429,800 Residential Value
Estimated market value $238,800 $312,600 $334,300 $429,800
Homestead value exclusion ($15,700) ($9,100) ($7,200)      -       
Taxable market value $223,100 $303,500 $327,100 $429,800
Net city tax $760 $1,035 $1,114 $1,464

Estimated Taxes Payable 2020  
  $250,000  Residential Value Median Residential Value $350,000 Residential Value  $450,000 Residential Value
Estimated market value $250,000 $327,400 $350,000 $450,000
Homestead value exclusion ($14,700) ($7,800) ($5,700)  -        
Taxable market value $235,300 $319,600 $344,300 $450,000
Net city tax $784 $1,065 $1,147 $1,499

Dollar change

$24

$30

$33

$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 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 2020 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 $89 per month. This is about $2.50 more than the 2019 amount per month. An additional resource for residents to access is The Woodbury City Update newsletter for November/December 2019 which addresses critical factors impacting the 2020 budget.

Street Reconstruction/Maintenance 
For fiscal year 2020, a 5.5% or $190,431 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)
In 2019, Woodbury partnered 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. As approved with the 2019-2020 HERO Center Business and Operations Plan, this special property tax levy includes $324,395 for the annual internal loan payment for Woodbury’s share of the HERO Center construction project and an additional $100,000 to support annual operational costs.

Parks and Trails Replacement
New for 2020 is a special property tax levy of $500,000 establishing a Parks and Trails Replacement Fund that will account for the replacement and improvement of the city’s parks infrastructure. As mentioned earlier under the Property Tax Levy section, funding is provided by using $255,745 from expiring debt levies with the balance of $244,255 being an addition to the tax levy.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) 
No rate increases were implemented with the 2020 adopted budget for EMS.   

Water and Sewer Rates 
For 2020, the city water rate per usage tier will be increasing 5 cents per thousand gallons along with the city's sanitary sewer utility rate increasing $1.08 per quarter. These increases will support the challenges of funding major water and sewer infrastructure improvements, debt service for the Public Works building project, and the 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 3.4 percent increase for the MCES portion of sanitary sewer utility rates. For more information regarding the MCES charges, please refer to the Metropolitan Council website.

Another pass-through fee increase is for the safe drinking water test fee assessed through the Minnesota Department of Health. The test fee was last increased in 2005 and will increase 84 cents per quarter in 2020.

In addition, the irrigation rate for commercial and homeowner association properties will increase from $2.74 to $2.95 per thousand gallons. 

Storm Water Rates 
The cost for a single-family residence in 2020 will increase from $19.30 to $19.88 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 2020 from Xcel Energy, no rate increases were implemented with the 2020 adopted budget for street lighting.

HRA Levy 
For 2020, the HRA is to be funded by a $250,000 property tax levy which is the same from 2019. 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 approximately $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 2020 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.