Navigating the Budgeting Process, Approving Prior Lake’s 2024 Budget with a Tax Levy Increase
Diving Deeper into the Budgeting Process
According to swnewsmedia.com, the Prior Lake City Council met on September 18 and unanimously approved a preliminary 2024 budget that includes a substantial 11.8% tax levy increase compared to the previous year. The budgeting process kicked off in June and was overseen by Finance Director Cathy Erickson involving two work sessions.
To enhance transparency and public involvement a further work session is scheduled for November 6 followed by a significant public budget meeting on December 4 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers where the final budget and tax levy will receive certification by the budgeting process and the Prior Lake City Council. This comprehensive budget encompasses 12 budgeted funds totaling approximately $50.1 million. Of note the budgeting process allocated $20.9 million to the general fund responsible for the city’s daily operations and an additional $14.5 million was designated for utility funds covering water sewer and stormwater services.
The proposed budgets also include provisions for critical elements such as the city’s first full-time fire station staffing model the addition of a police officer and the hiring of a recreation programmer. These measures underline the budgeting process and the Prior Lake City Council’s commitment to improving city services while adapting to the evolving needs of the community.
Understanding the Impact within the Budgeting Process
Finance Director Cathy Erickson emphasized that the proposed tax levy for 2024 stands at $18.9 million, marking an increase of approximately $1.9 million or 11.8%, compared to the prior year. This increase takes into account various factors affecting the community including new construction growth, inflation, wage growth and unfunded mandates related to elections.
Erickson clarified that while the budgeting process led to the Prior Lake City Council proposing this levy increase the impact on individual property owners may vary with more than half of the properties in Prior Lake expected to experience a tax increase of about 5%.