Aug 19, 2022 - Politics

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter calls for 15% property tax hike

mayor carter
Screenshot via City of St. Paul YouTube page

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter wants to raise the property tax levy by roughly 15% to pay for road upgrades, public safety initiatives and dozens of new roles across city departments.

The big picture: Carter's 2023 budget proposal, unveiled yesterday, outlines $782 million in proposed spending. General fund spending on city agencies would increase nearly 9%, to $352 million.

  • About half of the property tax levy hike β€” roughly $13.5 million β€” would go toward routine road maintenance that was previously covered by fees and assessments.

What it means for you: The increase in property tax collections would translate to an additional $19.25 a month β€” $231 a year β€” for owners of a median-priced home, per the mayor's office.

Between the lines: A May court ruling that forced St. Paul to stop charging property owners for nearby street maintenance left it with a $15 million budget hole, leading the city to propose paying for such road work via property taxes.

Zoom in: Carter's proposal calls for staff increases for many departments, including police (763 to 782), fire (496 to 504) and parks (595 to 608).

  • It also calls for additional funding for overdue maintenance of city properties and programs to help gun violence survivors and the homeless population.

Yes, and: The mayor wants to create a new "inheritance fund" aimed at providing forgivable home loans of up to $100,000 to low-income residents whose families were impacted when the construction of I-94 destroyed much of the Rondo neighborhood.

What's next: The mayor's pitch is just one step in a lengthy budget process.

  • The City Council and mayor will come up with a final tax and spending plan in the coming months.

ICYMI: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also unveiled his budget proposal this week.

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