Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
City Manager Tom Barry introduced the largest budget in Minot’s history on Aug. 5, while at the same time reporting to the City Council that the City’s portion of residents’ property tax bills will be lower than it was in 2019.
The preliminary budget Barry presented to the Council for 2020 was $275 million, a $95 million increase over the 2019 budget due to committed expenses. But the City’s mill levy for the 2019 budget was 129.23 mills, while the proposed 2020 budget will drop that mill levy to 121.29.
How is that possible?
In April, the City’s Recreation and Auditorium Department was transferred to Minot Park District, which reduced the City’s levy by nearly 8 mills. Consequently, the City’s property tax portion will be reduced by approximately 6 percent in 2020.
“I would venture to say that the 2020 budget is probably the largest this city has ever developed. It’s astonishing for the size of our town,” Barry said. “Not all that money is coming from the City. That’s the big misnomer. Oh, my gosh, where’d you guys get an extra $95 million? What have you been sitting on? That’s not the case.”
What is the additional $95 million for in the preliminary budget?
While a $95 million budget increase looks daunting, in reality, less than half of that total is actually coming from the City; $55 million will come from federal and state funding sources for capital projects. In regard to the $40 million in City money, the City has been allocating money for specific projects for years, and now those funds have to be put into the budget in order for the City to spend them for the designated purposes. Projects like flood control and the Northwest Area Water Supply have a local cost share of 35 percent, which is solely funded by local sales taxes.
Barry reported that several revenue sources have been adjusted upward for 2020:
In addition, expenses continue to be monitored and in many instances, reduced, including:
The presentation of the preliminary 2020 budget to the full City Council is the first step in a long process before the budget becomes official.