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Members of the Minot City Council spent considerable time at their Aug. 16 meeting requesting more information about the proposed 2022 budget from City department heads.
When they were finished, the Council members asked City Manager Harold Stewart and department heads to create options for reducing the proposed $175.9 million budget by roughly two mills, which is equivalent to approximately $400,000.
Council President Lisa Olson suggested the Council hold a budget workshop to further discuss the 2022 budget and potential changes. Vice President Carrie Evans made a motion to hold a special budget work session to focus exclusively on the budget before first reading on Aug. 30.
Stewart encouraged Council members to allow him and department heads to create options for reducing the budget by roughly two mills rather than have Council members discuss the proposed budget line by line.
“I am supportive of doing an additional work session. I think what staff is asking for is a general direction from Council,” Stewart said. “I don’t think we’re asking you to balance the budget for us. I don’t know that it will be beneficial and I don’t know if it will be efficient if we get into a meeting where Council is going line-by-line and looking for areas to cut.”
“I would prefer a directive from the council that you are in agreement of having no mill levy increase, and then my staff and I can bring you a budget that meets that expectation,” Stewart added.
A motion passed to direct department heads and Stewart to bring back recommendations on how to reduce the budget by roughly two mills. A special City Council meeting was later scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday in City Council chambers at City Hall to discuss potential changes to the budget.
The proposed 2022 budget includes 123.57 mills, compared to 121.29 mills for 2021. For the owner of a home at the median value of $187,000, property taxes would rise approximately $4.79 a month.
Stewart has previously explained to the Council that the two-mill change is essentially an adjustment to accommodate the way the state calculates a formula for Homestead and veterans property tax credits.