St. Paul Pads Their “Revenue”

August 18, 2011 at 6:38 am 1 comment

In the never ending quest to screw taxpayers we get this from the Star  Tribune;

The 6.5 percent levy increase proposed by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is just a fraction of the increase that average homeowners will see on their city bills, according to a budget presentation to the City Council on Wednesday.

After his budget address Monday, Coleman’s staff said the tax increase for the median-valued home would be $44 for 2012. But the owner of such a home — median value $149,300 — would actually see fee and tax increases next year of $125, under Coleman’s proposal. “When you look at all of them put together, that’s a lot of money and that’s just on the median-valued home,” Council President Kathy Lantry said Wednesday.

Council members heard about the increases during a staff budget presentation. The City Council is beginning budget hearings on the mayor’s proposal, and the maximum levy will be set in September. The council is to adopt the final budget and set the levy in December. Coleman didn’t highlight the fee increases during his budget address. Among the fees are right-of-way charges, water, storm sewer and recycling.

The recycling fee, for example, will go from $32 to $54. The increase is expected to pay primarily for the expansion citywide of the organics-composting program. Eureka Recycling, the city’s recycler, had been conducting a pilot project in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhoods.

The largest projected fee increase under Coleman’s proposal would be St. Paul Regional Water Services charges, moving from $111 to $139. Sanitary sewer charges are expected to increase $10, to $169. Storm sewer charges are projected to go up $6, to $80. The right-of-way assessment is projected to increase $14, to $224. The fee numbers are just estimates and most will vary even among similarly valued homes, depending on road frontage and consumption. Asked if the council could potentially shave the increases, Lantry didn’t hesitate: “Sure, sure, absolutely.”

For example, Council Member Dave Thune questioned the city’s decision to start replacing the snow plow fleet in 2012 rather than wait until 2013 to save money. Budget staff said the plows are supposed to be replaced after a decade, but yet the city’s 80 plows are more than 20 years old. Lantry said she would prefer to look elsewhere for savings.

She noted that new plows would be more efficient in both snow removal and planning. Plows with GPS computers could better track when streets are plowed and direct drivers to the most efficient routes for plowing. Lantry said of the plows, “They’ve got to be replaced.” Asked why the mayor didn’t mention fee increases, spokesman Richard Carlbom said, “The budget speech was meant to be a broad outline of the priorities.”

A 6.5%  increase?  When are you folks in St. Paul not going to take this anymore and elect new people????


Entry filed under: Taxation.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. wants2know  |  August 18, 2011 at 9:59 am

    It seems to be fundamentally impossible for elected officials to stop spending. They appear to have lost the ability to set priorities and adjust them to current conditions. Should we all demand our neighbors fund a new car for us just so we can have all the latest and greatest one with all the newest toys?


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