New Hope Approves Preliminary 10 Percent Tax Levy Increase
New Hope city officials say they made every effort to keep its general fund property tax levy low. They say they did that to help offset bond levies for the pool and park improvements.
The preliminary tax levy is slated to increase 10 percent. Nearly 9 percent of that pays for the new swimming pool and park improvements. For houses valued from $150,000 to $400,000, the estimated tax increase in 2020 ranges from $28 to $87.
The increase for 2020 follows other prior year levy increases that paid for significant infrastructure investments. The previous years include:
- 2017 – 10.68 percent levy increase over 2016 – included bond levies for city center and Northwood South street improvements.
- 2018 – 7.9 percent levy increase over 2017 – included bond levies for Northwood North street improvements and a park levy for New Hope Ice Arena debt.
- 2019 – 18.50 percent levy increase over 2018 – 13.24 percent was for bonds for new city hall and police station.
- 2020 – 10.08 percent levy increase over 2019 – 8.72 percent was for bonds to pay for new swimming pool and park improvements.
Like most cities, the biggest expense is personnel costs. New Hope budgeted for a $480,000 increase to fund a 3 percent rise in wages and benefits. The total tax levy in 2020 is $16.8 million.
New Hope also has to set aside nearly $60,000 to train election judges. That’s because there’s three elections in 2020: the presidential primary, the general primary and the general election.
Final approval of the 2020 tax levy is scheduled for December. A special public hearing on the budget takes place Dec. 2, followed by a final budget vote held Dec. 9.