Council approves 2013 tax levy, adopts budget

Rising health insurance costs and less revenue led the Stillwater City Council to approve a 1.56 percent increase in the city’s tax levy Tuesday.

Finance Director Sharon Harrison said the 2013 city budget reflects a $3,895 cut to the Stillwater Public Library, with that money moved to the general fund. The budget also gives $3,500 to the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce for their Chamber Symposium.

Harrison also approved a council request to put $15,000 more into the council budget to be used for the trail and property down by the river.

“The levy didn’t decrease but it didn’t go up either,” Harrison said.

The Council also adopted the proposed 2013 budget. City Administrator Larry Hansen told The Gazette last week that when he creates the levy proposal he makes it fit the expected city budget.

“I don’t mess around with fake preliminary budgets. Usually what we do is create a final budget and the budget is expected to be adopted in December,” Hansen said.

County officials ask for the city’s proposed levy so that a “Truth in Taxation” meeting can be scheduled where the public can offer suggestions on the budget. This public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 4.