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Truth in Taxation presentation scheduled for Bemidji City Council meeting

At the Bemidji City Council's meeting Monday, the annual Truth in Taxation presentation will take place to inform residents about the 2022 budget. The Council will also hear a proposal from the Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department to create a new strategic plan.

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BEMIDJI -- Bemidji residents will have an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the city’s tax levy for 2022 Monday.

During the Bemidji City Council's first meeting in December, the annual Truth in Taxation session will take place. During the Truth in Taxation period, Bemidji Finance Director Ron Eischens reviews both next year’s tax levy and budget changes.

In September, the council approved a preliminary tax levy of $7.13 million for 2022, an increase of 8.5% over the 2021 levy of $6.5 million.

According to city documents, the council will also have a recommendation to amend the 2021 budget for adjustments. In the general fund, the budget revenue increased by $211,000 and the expenses decreased by $209,000.

The fund decreases have largely been caused by a delay of purchases. The adjustments will also account for the $817,000 received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

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When including all of the city’s funds, the revenues for the city increased by $2.8 million and expenses rose by $1.4 million. The city is expected to have a work session in April to review the final 2021 numbers after all adjustments have been made.

Another item on deck for the council is a proposal from the Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department to hire a firm as it drafts a new strategic plan. The plan, documents show, would focus on the department’s policies and systems.

The department has previously done strategic planning in 2011 and 2018, related to capital improvements and programming, respectively. The recommendation from the department is for the council to approve hiring JFC Strategic Services for a total of $51,900.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall and can also be viewed online on the city's website.

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