Catching up

Back at it after a refreshing week away.  Let’s catch up on some of the issues out there:

  • District 112 prepares technology levy for November ballot:  The Eastern Carver County School District will vote in Thursday’s meeting on whether to put a technology levy question to voters this November.  The levy would represent a return to funding technology improvements via levy as opposed to the operating budget (which has been done for the last several years since the previous technology levy expired).   Two scenarios — one that would raise $1.37 million annually, and one that would raise $1.9 million annually — are under consideration.  The tax impact on a $240,000 home would be $60 per year for the smaller levy and $84 per year on the larger levy.
  • Proposed city budget holds levy steady, includes 2% pay increases:  Work continues on setting the preliminary levy for the city of Chaska, with the initial plan holding the total levy steady for the third year in a row (which means for the third year in a row, the tax rate will increase against decreasing property values).  Projections show a total increase in expenses of 1%, including raises for city employees of 2% in 2012 (escalating to 2.25% in 2013, and 2.5% for the remainder of the five-year planning period).  Additional deferrals of equipment purchases and decreased spending on road reconstruction also help to fill the proposed $400,000 deficit.
  • County plans to lower levy by $1 million in response to GOP state budget:  As part of the budget agreement that ended the state government shutdown, the Market Value Homestead Credit was eliminated, which provided about $1 million in property tax savings to Carver County residents.  In response to this change, Carver County is moving forward by reducing their budget by a corresponding amount to prevent adverse impact on taxpayers.  Savings will be achieved by transferring funds out of the County Program Aid received from the state.  As such, the county portion of the average resident’s property taxes will decrease slightly in 2012 compared to 2011.  The County Program Aid was originally targeted towards capital purchases in the 2012 budget.  This savings is on top of $1.3 million in cuts identified before ratification of the state budget.
  • Carver County GOP auction update:  The Carver County sporting clays event has been rescheduled for September 29.  Under pressure from various sources, the auction part of the event has been removed from their website, and disclaimers about Rep. Paulsen and Rep. Kline’s appearances at the event have been added.

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