Brooklyn Center Approves Preliminary Budget, Taxes Would Go Up 5%
The city of Brooklyn Center approved a preliminary budget this week that calls for a 5.87 percent on the overall property tax levy.
The city’s total proposed property tax levy for 2020 is $19.5 million. That’s a $1.1 million increase over 2019.
For the median value home $198,000 in Brooklyn Center, it would amount to a $59 increase, or an increase of 5 percent, in city taxes for single-family properties. Driving the increase is personnel costs. Paying for the water treatment plant, which was completed in 2016, also added to the city’s debt load.
As a result, property tax rates are on the high end in Brooklyn Center compared to other peer cities, largely due to the city’s smaller tax base. Brooklyn Center City Council member Dan Ryan believes the taxes are “not out of line,” citing an audit by an independent CPA firm.
“What drives that for the most part, is in their assessment, the city of Brooklyn Center has extraordinarily high public safety costs. And public safety is our first obligation,” said Ryan.
Council Rejects Chief’s Request for Two Additional Police Officers
The city council did turn down a request by Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon for two additional officers. Ryan says that would have contributed to a double-digit tax increase. He says the council will consider the police request next year.
Brooklyn Center did approve, however, three other full-time positions. They include an associate planner; a community engagement specialist, which was previously part-time; and a human resource development specialist, also previously part-time.
Public safety takes up 46 percent of the city’s budget.
Mayor: Budget “Higher Than He Would Like”
The Brooklyn Center City Council approved the budget by a 4-1 vote. Mayor Mike Elliott voted no. He says the budget is “higher than he would like.” Elliott added he would like to look deeper into city programs or services that may not be working.
Council member Kris Lawrence-Anderson says the city is working hard to build up its commercial base. That will help take the burden off residential property owners, she said.
A final budget vote is expected Dec 2.