ST. PETER – Residents of Saint-Pierre could see relatively stable property tax bills for the county in 2022, while city and school district rates are still being finalized.
The Nicollet County Council of Commissioners held a public hearing on its proposed property tax levy at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Nicollet County Government Center. The commissioner’s approval could come later.
The public hearing and potential St. Peter City Council approval is well underway for December 13, followed by the St. Peter School Board hearing and decision on December 20. City and school officials will finalize tax rates ahead of the meetings.
Members of St. Peter’s City Council approved a preliminary levy of $ 3,528,430 in September. This would be an increase of $ 195,039, or 5.9%, in 2022 over this year’s levy amount.
The total cannot be increased after the preliminary figure is approved, but it can be reduced.
At the same September meeting, the resident tax rate was set at a fixed number compared to this year. Council documents from Monday’s Goals session, however, showed a lower rate based on a reduced levy amount of $ 3,525,485.
If the lower proposed rate and levy were final, the result would be lower tax bills for properties with the same market value year over year. A 5.9% increase in market values, or the increase in the city’s fiscal capacity, would add about $ 48 to property tax bills for a home valued at $ 150,000 in 2021.
Commercial properties valued at $ 250,000 in 2021 would result in about an additional $ 147 on bills if the property’s market value increased 5.9%.
Discussions about the final levy amount and tax rate are ongoing, said Sally Vogel, St. Peter’s chief financial officer. Council members discussed the matter on Monday and will do so again at a workshop on December 6 ahead of the December 13 meeting.
“We have our homework to do next week,” said Vogel.
Nicollet County Commissioners have set a preliminary levy of $ 24,257,237 for 2022 in September. This is a 2% increase over this year’s amount of $ 475,120.
Administrative and criminal justice services were the two main revenue funds, increasing from 2021 in preliminary figures increasing by around 20.1% and 5.5% respectively. The health and social services fund was to fall by 13.2%.
One of the notable changes between the 2021 and 2022 levies is that this year the county had CARES law funding to work with, county administrator Mandy Landkamer said.
If approved on Thursday, the final levy as proposed would result in roughly stable year-over-year property tax bills for properties that increase in value by 5%.
“The county has been very diligent in the budget process this year,” Landkamer said. “Of course, there are concerns about the impact of COVID-19, and this has been taken very seriously.”
A home valued at $ 200,000 in 2021 and $ 210,000 in 2022, for example, would result in $ 1 less in property taxes.
A commercial / industrial / rental property valued at $ 500,000 in 2021, then increased by 6% for 2022, would represent approximately $ 62 more on the property tax bill.
Members of St. Peter’s School Board approved a preliminary drawdown amount of $ 6,393,433 in September. Although this is a decrease of $ 404,378, or 5.95% from the previous year, the numbers will change due to a referendum approved by voters in November.
The preliminary amount approved in September took into account the expiration of a previous referendum. The new referendum will be added to the preliminary amount before final approval, said Tim Regner, business director of St. Peter’s Public Schools.
“This will be what was approved in September plus the referendum and we are currently working on those numbers,” he said.
This will lead to an increase in levies, he added, but the exact amount has not yet been finalized due to the referendum vote adding a wrinkle to the process.
The Free Press reported after the referendum vote that it would raise taxes by about $ 60 for a house worth $ 150,000 and $ 100 for a house worth $ 250,000. Farmland, which accounts for 29% of Nicollet County according to county documents, is not taxed – farmers’ residences are taxed.
The funding will support expanded career and technical education offerings, as well as the maintenance of programs that are not fully covered by state and local funding.