In September, the City Council approved a preliminary 2022 property tax levy increase of 2.75%. The preliminary tax levy can be reduced, but not increased, before final adoption in December. This levy would fund 68.8% of the City’s 2022 general fund budget. The remainder of the proposed budget would be supported by lodging and admission taxes, license and permit fees, grants and program revenues. The average 2022 preliminary tax levy increase for 15 similar metro area cities is around 5%. At 2.75%, Bloomington’s preliminary levy increase is the lowest among those 15 cities. The City Council will hold a truth-in-taxation public budget hearing Monday, December 6, 6 p.m., at Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road. For instructions on how to participate in person or virtually, visit blm.mn/cc-1206 or call 952-563-8790.
Your City property tax dollar
Most property taxes support core services, including police, fire, public works, and parks and recreation, see graph. For every dollar of City taxes paid, 49 cents goes toward police and fire, 19 cents goes toward public works and 14 cents goes toward parks and recreation, while 8 cents of each City property tax dollar pays outstanding debt service. Debt is issued to fund street and infrastructure work and construction projects.
Impact of COVID-19 on the City’s budget
The pandemic created a larger economic downturn for the City in 2020 than 2008’s Great Recession. Many industries came to a halt, including the hospitality and entertainment industries. For the City, that meant millions of dollars lost in lodging and admissions taxes, mostly paid by visitors, not residents. Lodging and admission tax revenues usually generate about 13% of the City’s general fund revenues. Due to the pandemic, these revenues declined by more than $6 million in 2020, less than half what was collected before COVID-19.
The City is still projecting a 2022 budget with revenues below where they were in 2019—pre-pandemic levels—especially for revenues from lodging and admissions taxes. These two revenue sources will provide about $3 million less than in 2019.
Engaging the community
The public has had many opportunities to participate in 2022 budget discussions this year. There were virtual and in-person information sessions in August, as well as a virtual event on Zoom and an in-person event at Civic Plaza in October. Both virtual sessions were recorded and are available for viewing online at blm.mn/budget. There have also been ongoing opportunities for engagement and feedback on the 2022 budget online at blm.mn/letstalk.
For detailed information, including presentation slides from information sessions and recaps of City Council budget discussions, visit blm.mn/budget.