Braham approves 0 percent levy increase in 2013

The Truth in Taxation Meeting was held at the Braham City Hall, Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The proposed Final 2013 Levy is $530,535. This is the second year of a 0 percent levy increase for city of Braham property taxes.

There were no changes in the proposed Final 2013 Budget from the Preliminary 2013 Budget adopted in September. The Market Value Credit Aid is now eliminated. This means that the taxpayers will now be billed 100 percent of their property taxes.

The State is not giving them a credit anymore that the State was supposed to subsidize and send to the cities. Instead the State cut this aid for the cities to cover some of the State deficit.

The city’s certified LGA for 2013 was increased $41,295. Braham has budgeted $10,000 for unallotment/shortfall in property taxes under Capital Projects, and also have $50,000 in a reserve for unallotment (includes above 2011 budgeted Unallotment Reserve in banking transactions).

Braham has budgeted $20,000 toward the NE Braham Street Reclaim project. The debt payment on this project is estimated at $38,220. The project costs are likely to go up by 2013. The debt can be set up for the first bond payment to come due in 2014 (where the second half of the increase will be budgeted), and if the special assessments are certified in 2013, the city should receive the special assessments starting in 2014.

The salary schedule rolled 2 percent and the percentage between steps remains at 3 percent. Employees under Step 8 would advance one step. This still gives the employees a pay increase while holding the levy at 0 percent increase during a slow recovery from a poor economy. The Police Union contract is also set at 2 percent with officers under Step 8 moving a step (3 percent). According to the LMC, the 2011-12 COL increase was averaged at 2.4 percent.

According to the Squad Replacement Plan, the Chief’s squad is up for replacement in 2013. The Chevy Tahoe will be picked up in December 2012 and invoiced in January 2013.

The city refunded four older bonds with higher interest earlier this year. The 2013 Preliminary Budget reflects these changes. Due to Tax Increment law, the tax increments still need to come in to the TIF accounts, then the City will transfer the bond payment amounts out of the TIF accounts to the Refunding Bond Fund 404, where the payments to the Refunding Bond will be made from.

According to the Water Cash Flow Projection Guide, Braham will be increasing the Meter Fee from $1 to $2 and the Tower Debt Service Flat Fee from $2 to $3, effective with the January 2013 billing cycle.

The WWTF Improvement Project is coming to completion in 2012, so Braham does not need to budget for that in 2013.

The proposed 2013 Final Budget is as follows:

General Fund Revenues: $1,332,974

General Fund Expenses: $1,332,974

Total Revenues: $3,323,790

Total Expenses: $3,319,724

This was approved at the regular city council meeting that took place also on Dec. 4.

Also during the regular meeting:

• The city and Braham Development each agreed to pay 50 percent of the cost to install a streetlight by the town homes on Shady Ridge Lane. The council also decided to remove the 400 feet requirement from the Developer’s Agreement.

• Doug Eklund placed the highest bid for the 1994 F350 One-Ton, which included the dump box, plow, and sander.

• The 2013 Liquor/Tobacco/Amusement Devices License Renewals were approved contingent upon the six businesses each meeting and maintaining all licensing requirements.

• The 2013 Water/Sewer contractors License Renewal was approved contingent upon D & M Excavating meeting and maintaining all licensing requirements.

• Outgoing council members Terry Turnquist and Wayne Seiberlich were sincerely thanked for their service.

• The next Braham City Council Meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.