Maplewood council agrees to 3.5 percent increase in property tax levy

The Maplewood City Council unanimously passed a 2018 property tax levy with an increase of about 3.5 percent over 2017. 

However, homeowners with median-valued homes can expect an increase of only about 2 percent, or just under $20 for the year.

The median home value in Maplewood increased from $200,000 to $209,000 between 2017 and 2018, about a 4.5 percent increase.

The total 2018 levy amount is about $21 million, $730,000 more than last year’s levy and includes a $100,000 increase to the general fund in order to build up depleted reserves, explained finance director Ellen Paulseth at the Dec. 11 city council meeting.

The general fund budget, which was passed the same night, amounts to about $20 million, 2 percent more than last year’s budget. The property tax levy supports about 75 percent of the general fund budget, Paulseth said.

The public safety department makes up 55 percent of the general fund expenses. Public works was the second most expensive department, accounting for 19 percent.

Paulseth explained that a few of the major changes between 2017 and 2018 include wage and benefit increases for city employees amounting to $485,000, the inclusion of an emerald ash borer program for $100,000 and the continued partnership with the YMCA to manage the Maplewood Community Center, which makes for a savings of $300,000.

—Aundrea Kinney

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