Rosemount City Council approved a 2019 tax levy that projects a 3.75 percent increase for the city's portion of property taxes.

Rosemount City Administrator Logan Martin offered a 2019 tax levy and budget summary during the Dec. 4 City Council meeting. The approved levy is $90,000 less than the preliminary budget in September called for.

"We are really pleased to report a flat change in the city's health insurance for next year," Martin said.

City staff negotiated a significant cost savings of $90,000 in the area of health insurance rates. This savings is the main factor leading to the reduction in the preliminary tax levy amount.

The 2019 city budget reflects an increase in personnel costs with new full-time employees, overall increases in wages and benefits to meet labor contracts, and increases in funding to allow for the city's long-range maintenance plans.

Partially offsetting these increased costs are increased development and related fees for building permits, plan checks and administrative charges for development of new streets and utilities.

Budget process

Council worked with city staff to prepare the 2019 budget at four work sessions. The draft budget began with the council's goal setting in March that leads to a five-year strategic plan initiative.

"After each department submitted their 2019 requests, finance director (Jeff) May and I met individually with each department head to discuss all requests and receive further explanation as to their necessity," Martin said. "A number of items were removed after those discussions and three drafts were completed internally prior to council review."

The city budget review includes a 10-year needs projection for street improvements, equipment replacements, buildings and the ice arena. The budget envisions a long-term review to address parking lots and city playground maintenance.

Tax base, general fund

The overall tax base in Rosemount has seen an increase for the sixth consecutive year.

The overall tax capacity value within the city is estimated to be 7.27 percent higher in 2019 than 2018. The increase in market value on the medium home in Rosemount is 7.51 percent higher than it was priced in 2018.

The city's property taxes fund 73.56 percent of the general fund budget. City staff anticipate a strong housing pattern in 2019. Building permit revenues are slated to increase to $525,000 - the highest revenue projection since 2006.

Rosemount taxpayers will see the third lowest municipal levy increase in Dakota County. The homeowner of a median-valued home of $279,300 will see an estimated annual increase of $44 in city property taxes assessed and that is $1,051 during 2019.

The city will continue to work toward being conservative on projections and revenues, Martin said, as figures stem from many local economic factors.

City staff, enterprise funds

The city employs 85 full-time employees and the budget calls for hiring two new patrol officers.

The 2019 budget reclassifies the current part-time IT specialist to become a full-time position. Martin said the city strives to strategically utilize technology in all the areas of its four labor bargaining units that are under contract. Salary and benefit budgets reflect those agreements.

Council also heard reviews of the enterprise fund budgets, including the proposed water, sewer and stormwater utility rates and projected budgets for 2019.