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2021 City Budget Highlights

The Woodbury City Council adopted the 2021 city budget on Dec. 9, 2020. The action capped a process that began in April, when city departments began preparing their budget requests, and culminated with the public meeting on Dec. 9, 2020. The budget was discussed at numerous Council meetings and workshops between April and December.

Property Tax Levy 
The adopted 2021 total property tax levy (including the HRA property tax levy) is $39,785,454 or 4.9 percent above last year, which is above our 15-year historic average increase of 4.2 percent. The chart below illustrates how the 2021 property tax levy compares to previous years.

Property Tax Levy Changes 2021

The 2021 total levy of $39.8 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 2021, the General Fund budget, which is the city's main operating fund, totals $38,794,650. This compares to the $37,674,650 adopted budget for 2020, representing a three percent increase. Gross property taxes at $28.2 million account for 73 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
 
2019 Actual

Budget 2020

Budget 2021
Increase/Decrease Over 2020
Taxes (less estimated tax delinquencies) $25,073,455 $26,368,895 $27,846,395 $1,477,500
Licenses $450,911 $474,300 $437,300 $(37,000)
Development Fees and Permits $4,890,055 $3,825,000 $3,406,600 $(418,400)
Intergovernmental $1,634,890 $1,647,200 $1,712,600 $65,400
Recreation Fees $1,053,477 $1,053,000 $1,006,500 $(46,500)
Charges for Services $1,048,286 $1,072,082 $1,048,082 $(24,000)
Fines and Forfeits $266,113 $235,000 $238,000 $3,000
Investment Revenue $1,084,407 $430,000 $200,000 $(230,000)
Miscellaneous Revenue $85,066 $74,173 $66,123 $(8,050)
Transfers In $2,462,222 $2,495,000 $2,749,550 $254,550
Use of Fund Balance -        -        $83,500 $83,500
Total $38,048,882 $37,674,650 $38,794,650 $1,120,000

2021 Expenditures - All Budgeted Funds
Total city expenditures for 2021 are estimated at $100.9 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
2020
Budget
2021
General $37,674,650 $38,794,650
Administrative Fee $620,250 $800,600
Public Safety Training Center $208,715 $138,664
Public Safety Activities $276,800 $168,000
Emergency Medical Services $3,136,900 $3,152,600
Fire Relief Pension $440,000 $460,000
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) $553,011 $828,668
Economic Development Authority (EDA) $228,200 $78,300
Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) $766,600 $744,900
Park Dedication $544,700 $3,764,800
Parks and Trails Replacement - $1,185,000
Community Investment - -
Capital Improvement $5,013,000 $3,206,400
M.S.A. Roadway Construction $19,132,131 $10,730,000
Street Reconstruction/Maintenance $4,035,500 $6,053,350
Tax Abatement Plan I-94 Region $1,500 $1,500
Tax Increment District 13 $108,000 $125,300
Tax Increment District 15 $1,500 $1,500
Water & Sewer Utility $14,010,922 $12,969,514
Storm Water Utility $2,257,268 $2,129,961
Street Lighting Utility $559,800 $559,800
HealthEast Sports Center  $1,780,300 $1,894,300
Eagle Valley Golf Course $1,464,900 $1,430,500
Risk Management $1,762,700 $1,896,200
Debt Service Funds $5,645,000 $9,746,000
Total $100,222,347 $100,860,507

Levy and Taxes
City taxes on a residential parcel valued at $327,400 -- the median value for taxes payable in 2020 -- are estimated to increase $41 in 2021. This assumes the parcel experiences a 4.2 percent increase in estimated market value.

Property Tax Comparison (city taxes only)

Actual Taxes Payable 2020    
  $240,000  Residential Value Median Residential Value $335,900 Residential Value  $431,900 Residential Value
Estimated market value $240,000 $327,400 $335,900 $431,900
Homestead value exclusion $(15,600) $(7,800) $(7,000)      -       
Taxable market value $224,400 $319,600 $328,900 $431,900
Net city tax $749 $1,065 $1,097 $1,439

Estimated Taxes Payable 2021  
  $250,000  Residential Value Median Residential Value $350,000 Residential Value  $450,000 Residential Value
Estimated market value $250,000 $341,200 $350,000 $450,000
Homestead value exclusion $(14,700) $(6,500) $(5,700)  -        
Taxable market value $235,300 $334,700 $344,300 $450,000
Net city tax $779 $1,106 $1,138 $1,487

Dollar change

$30

$41

$41

$48

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 2021 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 $92 per month. This is about $3 more than the 2020 amount per month. An additional resource for residents to access is The Woodbury City Update newsletter for November/December 2020 which addresses critical factors impacting the 2021 budget.

Street Reconstruction/Maintenance 
For fiscal year 2021, a 5.5% or $200,905 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 $50,000 to support unanticipated operational costs.

Parks and Trails Replacement
This is the second year for a special property tax levy funding a Parks and Trails Replacement Fund that will account for the replacement and improvement of the city’s parks infrastructure. The levy is increasing $186,000 from the reallocation of capital project funds that were previously levied under the General and Capital Improvement funds.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) 
No rate increases were implemented with the 2021 adopted budget for EMS.   

Water and Sewer Rates 
For 2021, the city water administrative fee will be increasing $2.00 per quarter, water rate per usage tiers will be increasing 20 cents per thousand gallons, and the city's sanitary sewer utility rate will be increasing $1.13 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.

No increase was implemented for sanitary sewer flow charges passed along from the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES). For more information regarding the MCES pass-through charges, please refer to the Metropolitan Council website.

In addition, the irrigation rate for commercial and homeowner association properties will increase from $2.95 to $3.18 per thousand gallons. 

Storm Water Rates 
The cost for a single-family residence in 2021 will increase from $19.88 to $20.50 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 2021 from Xcel Energy, no rate increases were implemented with the 2021 adopted budget for street lighting.

HRA Levy 
For 2021, the HRA is to be funded by a $250,000 property tax levy which is the same from 2020. 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 2021 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 Division at (651) 714-3507 or send an email to finance@woodburymn.gov.