As city department heads and council members complete their budget study sessions this week, it leads to approval of a preliminary levy for 2024 on Tuesday, September 19th.
The proposal is a 9% levy increase. This is on a projected tax base growth of approximately 7%.
Some key drivers of the proposal include normal staff wage increases and major building upkeep projects.
The Chamber has advocated keeping the levy below the growth rate for the last several years.
This year the Chamber Board and Policy Committee submitted a letter highlighting how legislative decisions will increase businesses’ costs.
If you are concerned about the levy proposal, City Council members want to hear from you. In the last budget session, city council members did not receive much feedback. If you want to help keep the levy below the growth rate, now is the time to reach out to your city council representative.
A few talking points you can consider:
The state legislature made some decisions that have cost implications on businesses, including:
- Workplace Sick & Safe leave requires 1 hour of paid time off for every 30 hours worked
- Small business exemptions removed for workplace requirements including unpaid leave requirements & pregnancy accommodations
- New and increased OSHA penalties
- Delivery fee on retail purchases over $100
- A change in homestead market value exclusion to mitigate tax increases on some homeowners. The result is the shifting of property taxes onto other property taxpayers including businesses. Early calculations show about a 1.8% shift to business property taxpayers.
Other issues include rising interest rates and inflation costs.
Additionally, the State of Minnesota increased money to Local Government Aid (LGA) giving the City of Owatonna close to $900,000 in additional revenue for 2024. Owatonna will also receive more than $1.1M in one-time public safety aid in 2024 and $133,000 in affordable housing aid.
Your voice is important! Please submit an email prior to Tuesday, September 19th meeting, or plan to attend the meeting at 7pm in the 3rd floor meeting room at the Owatonna Public Library.
Mayor Tom Kuntz: email@example.com
Greg Schultz: Greg.Schultz@ci.owatonna.mn.us
Doug Voss: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Burbank: email@example.com
Dan Boeke: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nathan Dotson: email@example.com
Kevin P. Raney: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brent L. Svenby email@example.com