Council won't raise tax levy for 2012

By Patrick Fisher Staff Writer

Zero percent increase.

That is what the New Prague City Council unanimously approved for its preliminary property tax levy for 2012. The action came at its Tuesday, Sept. 6, meeting.

Under state guidelines the city needs to adopt a preliminary property tax levy by Thursday, Sept. 15. It establishes the maximum property tax levy that can be considered by the council through the budget process. Also, once adopted it cannot be increased, only lowered. The final budget must be sent into the state in December.

City Administrator Mike Johnson explained that the state is not paying cities and counties for the Market Value Homestead Credit (MVHC) in 2012 and the state has again reduced its contribution to Local Government Aid (LGA) to cities. To offset the MVHC payments in 2012, the state is providing for a similar property tax relief by excluding a portion of each qualifying home's market value from taxation. For New Prague's tax base this results in a decline of $553,264. Johnson noted this covers only residential property.

With these numbers, Johnson recommended that the city's total levy for 2012 remain the same as 2011, which is approximately $3.8 million. Under this proposal the city's general fund levy would be increased to an estimated $2.7 million. Remaining in this levy would be the transfer of $121,270 to the New Prague Golf Club for operations. The debt service levy would be reduced to $987,151, there would be no changes to the Economic Development Authority (EDA) levy or the library levy, which would both be $50,000.

I'm pretty confident we could make things work with zero percent increase

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