Weather Forecast


Bemidji City Council: Truth in Taxation hearing is Monday

Bemidji residents have a chance to weigh in on the city's proposed 2010 budget Monday as the Bemidji City Council will hold its required Truth in Taxation hearing.

The public hearing is scheduled during the council's regular meeting that begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The council has supported a preliminary levy increase of 19.9 percent or $613,000. The tax rate, if the preliminary levy is adopted, would increase from 35.9 to 41.2.

A final levy must be adopted this month. The preliminary levy may be lowered, but cannot be raised. The council is schedule to adopt a final budget and tax levy during its regular Dec. 21 meeting.

The preliminary levy increase is planned to recapture revenues lost through Local Government Aid cuts in 2008 and 2009.

The overall city is increasing $21.5 million due, primarily, to bonding and construction related to the development of the 140-acre south shore, which includes the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

During the Truth in Taxation hearing the public will get further information on why property taxes vary from year to year, the ratios of property classifications in Bemidji, the division of property tax dollars in 2010, where your city property tax dollars are allocated, and tax levy and tax rate comparisons to other cities around Minnesota.

Other items

Also set for the council meeting:

- Consideration of three appointments to the BREC Advisory Board: Bill Maki, the vice president of finance and administration, has been nominated to represent Bemidji State University; Gayle Quistgard, the VisitBemidji executive director, has been nominated to represent VisitBemidji; and Ken Howe, the owner of Dunn Bros. and a member of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, has been nominated to represent the Chamber.

Already appointed to the BREC board are City Manager John Chattin, Finance Director Ron Eischens, and Councilors Greg Negard and Kevin Waldhausen.

- Consideration of $192,416.47 worth of change orders for BREC construction.