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Bemidji City Council to vote on tax levy increase

BEMIDJI – The City Council here will vote on a preliminary tax levy increase of 7.8 percent Tuesday.

Most of the increase, which would set the levy just shy of $4.2 million, is due to the annexation of properties in Northern and Bemidji townships. That shouldn’t affect property tax rates for residents or business owners if their property value stays the same, according to a meeting packet provided by the city.

The remaining 2.4 percent of the increase will be used to meet budget needs, according to the presentation prepared by city finance director Ron Eischens.

He said by phone Friday that will likely result in a slight rate increase.

The preliminary levy can be decreased when it’s finalized in December, but not increased.

According to meeting minutes, the council was presented with two financing options at an Aug. 13 meeting, one of which included a 10.6 percent tax levy increase, 5.2 percent of which was not associated with annexation. The council voted to direct city staff to prepare a budget using the 7.8 increase instead.

Tuesday’s resolution will also set the Truth in Taxation hearing for Dec. 3.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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