The Finance Department is responsible for preparation of the Annual Budget.
The budget process occurs within the framework of the state property tax system. City tax levies are submitted to the County Auditor. Anoka County is responsible for property tax administration.
Property taxes are the primary revenue source for the City’s general operating fund and debt service obligations. In order to balance the budget, total estimated revenues must equal total estimated expenditures:
[city budget] – [all non-property tax revenues] = [city levy]
During the budget process, City Council members and staff determine what services and programs to maintain, change, add or drop in the coming year. The core budget process begins in May and ends of December each year:
- May – Budget estimates are compiled and budget worksheets are distributed to Department Directors.
- June – Department Directors submit budget requests to the Finance Department who develops the proposed budget.
- July – City Administrator reviews the proposed budget prior to submitting to the City Council.
- August thru September – City Council holds scheduled work sessions on the proposed budget.
- September – City Council adopts the preliminary budget and property tax levy. The preliminary levy is submitted to the County Auditor. The preliminary levy is represented on tax notices mailed to property owners in November.
- October thru December – City Council continues to schedule work sessions to obtain desired final budget and property tax levy. The final levy can be lower than the preliminary levy, but cannot be higher.
- December – City Council holds a public hearing and adopts the final budget and property tax levy. The final levy is certified to the County Auditor. The final levy is represented on tax statements with payments due the following May and October.
The budget cycle never stops. While City Council and staff are preparing a new annual budget, the current year’s revenues and expenditures are being tracked and reviewed. As a new year’s budget is implemented, the past year’s expenditures are being audited and reported. Preparation, approval, implementation, and audit review comprise the ongoing budget cycle.
The County Assessor determines a property’s estimated market value by the approximate selling price based on current market conditions.
For property classified as Residential Homestead (Res Hstd) the Homestead Market Value Exclusion is automatically applied to reduce the estimated market value to a taxable market value. The property class also determines the class rate.
[taxable market value] * [class rate] = [parcel tax capacity]
[parcel tax capacity] * [city tax rate] = [city tax bill]
The City’s Tax Rate is included in the annual adopted budget document. The City does not directly set the tax rate, but instead adopts a levy that is spread over the tax base determined by Anoka County.
[city levy] / [taxable tax capacity] = [city tax rate]
The same calculation is completed for the county, school district, and all special taxing authorities. The sum of the tax rates for all taxing authorities that levy against a single property produces the total local tax rate.