Tax hearing held

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 1999

A Truth in Taxation hearing at City Hall Monday was not well attended by the public.

Wednesday, December 08, 1999

A Truth in Taxation hearing at City Hall Monday was not well attended by the public. City Council members were on hand to answer questions, but there was no one there to ask them.

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&uot;We invited the public, but no one showed up,&uot; said Mayor Marv Wangen. The lack of interest may reflect a general contentment, or at least a lack of consternation on the part of the public over their taxes this year, he said.

For most residents, property taxes are down, while city revenues are up, said Wangen. Total revenue this year came to more than $11.3 million, with local taxes making up $3.3 million. A portion of the revenue comes from license fees, fines and the like, but most, $5.8 million or 52 percent, comes from intergovernmental state aid, Wangen said.

&uot;What many residents don’t perhaps know is that we receive more tax dollars back than we spend here,&uot; the Mayor said.

He explained that out-state or rural communities receive more state aid because their property values are less than in urban areas.

Suburban residents are often upset about this, since smaller communities such as Albert Lea with a population of 18,000 may receive proportionally more aid than a suburb like Bloomington, which has a much higher population.

Legislators came up with the formula as a way to ensure smaller communities had the same basic services that are offered in the larger ones, Wangen said.

&uot;That may change, however, since many who live in the urban areas don’t think the formula is fair,&uot; Wangen said.

Franchise fees, such as utilities, gas and cable TV brought in $1,270,000 in revenue, while property taxes brought in $1,946,000, Wangen said.

The total taxes on property are down largely because of the increase in state aid, Wangen said.

The figures came from the city budget that was published earlier this year.