Bemidji City Council Looks at Possible 5% Levy Increase for 2023 Budget
The possibility of a 5% tax levy increase was at the center of Monday’s work session meeting for the Bemidji City Council.
The topic continues from previous meetings, but some points brought up Monday are new issues stemming from recent events. Operation debts, construction and building repair costs, and staffing were all open for discussion at the meeting.
While some council members wanted to look at how the levy would be affected if staffing needs were fulfilled either for administrative duties or the drug task force, others voiced their concerns about what might happen if costs for repairs at city parks or buildings are continually delayed. One item did stay in the discussion regardless of the topic: inflation.
“Fundamentally, I look at all this and everybody is going through the negative effects of inflation,” said mayor Jorge Prince. “Every household is making the same kinds of decisions that we’re trying to make tonight on a very local level. When Josh – Councilman Peterson – talks about trying to do this at the least amount of levy possible this year, I concur with him.”
No action was taken at this meeting. The city council will discuss the budget once more in August before coming to a vote on the levy in September.