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Erik Burgess, Published August 20 2012

2013 Moorhead budget draft includes property tax hike

MOORHEAD – Homeowners here could see property taxes increase next year, according to a preliminary budget proposal by the city that was first presented to the City Council on Monday evening.

The city’s 2013 budget currently has the property tax on a median-valued home here increasing by 8.8 percent, or $35 a year.

“You’re roughly talking about 67 cents a week, or about $2.92 a month,” said City Manager Michael Redlinger.

The tax is based on the median property value in Moorhead, Redlinger said, which is $139,900. Houses valued at lower prices would see a lower tax increase, he said.

He said an increase like this is not dramatic.

“It’s actually less than the preliminary last year,” Redlinger said.

By state law, a preliminary budget must be adopted by Sept. 15, after which the council cannot increase the tax levy amount or the overall budget amount.

Mayor Mark Voxland said a town hall meeting will be held Oct. 29, where residents can bring up budgetary concerns.

A final budget must be approved by Dec. 10, a task Redlinger said the city is well on its way to completing.

“There’s no major surprises in this budget,” Redlinger said. “For the most part, it’s just a very status quo budget.”

In other news, Councilwoman Nancy Otto also pushed city staff on Monday night to prepare documentation of what she called the city’s “largest asset” – its roadways.

“Our streets our aging, it seems to me, faster than we’re keeping up,” she said.

“It really concerns me that all at once down the road we are going to be hit with some massive street rehabs and repairs if we are not doing everything we can.”

Otto said she wants reports on how many miles of streets have been repaired annually in past years in order to better assess how the city can rehab the streets going into next year.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518