Oakdale strives for an unchanged tax rate in 2019

The Oakdale City Council unanimously passed its preliminary 2019 tax levy at its Sept. 11 meeting.

The preliminary tax levy establishes the maximum amount the city can levy in 2019, though the city still has time to reduce it.

Though the roughly $12.2 million preliminary 2019 levy is about 4.9 percent more than the final 2018 levy, the tax rate is a .5 percent reduction over last year’s, meaning that for residents whose properties did not increase in value, there will likely be little to no change in the city portion of their property taxes.

The biggest portion of the tax levy — about $8.7 million — goes to Oakdale’s general fund, while a roughly $2.7 million debt levy makes up the second largest portion of the levy, said Finance Director Suzy Warren during her presentation at the meeting. 

Warren said in an interview that over the past year Oakdale has experienced a “fairly significant” increase in commercial property values, which is expected to offset the impact of value increases in residents’ property taxes.

“Our target is to keep the tax rate stable,” she said, adding that sometimes meeting that goal can be tricky because the value of each individual property could go up or down, year to year, affecting how each property is taxed.

For this year the median Oakdale home value is $231,700, and in 2019 the value of such a home is expected to increase by 7.1 percent, according to Washington County estimates.

Warren concluded her Sept. 11 presentation on the preliminary tax levy by reminding residents that they can reach out to city staff or city council members to discuss the levy or have questions answered before the levy is finalized at the Dec. 11 Truth in Taxation hearing.

“People have an opportunity to participate now,” she said. “I just want to make sure everybody’s aware of that.”


—Aundrea Kinney

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