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Budget, Property Value and Taxes

Understanding your property taxes

Why do my taxes go up when my property value goes down?

Where do my property taxes go?

When you receive your property tax bill, keep in mind your bill includes taxes from several jurisdictions, not just the City. Hennepin County and area school districts are included in the total bill. Most residents tend to blame their cities for high taxes, but actually only 41 percent of your bill goes toward city taxes. Hennepin County get 33 percent, the school district gets 19 percent, Metro taxing district gets two percent and other districts get five percent.

Illustration that shows the what poercentage your property goes to which organization

Cost of city services

When you get your property tax bill you probably dread opening it. Everyone does. But have you ever thought about how much in taxes you pay every time you go to the store?  When you buy a candy bar, a few cents are added for sales tax but you probably don’t think much about it because what’s a few cents. But when you get your property tax bill it may be thousands of dollars!

Never forget that you are getting services for that money that no one else can provide you. No one else can solve the crime in your neighborhood, put out the fire in your house, lead an effort to bring more businesses and jobs to the community, make sure your road is plowed after a snowstorm or preserve the green spaces and parks that improve the beauty and quality of life in your neighborhood.

Monthly breakdown

So far, the City Council has set a preliminary levy of $36 million for 2016. Here’s a breakdown of what you’re paying monthly for the various services, based on the median value home of $181,500.

blue icon of policeman

Police
$34.41

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Operations and Maintenance
$11.75

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Council, Administration and Finance
$8.97

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Recreation and Parks
$7.66

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Fire
$7.57

icon of purple clipboard and magnifying glassicon of purple Community development buildings

Community Development
$6.34

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Contingency
$0.62

What is a levy?

A levy is a sum collected for a specific purpose. In this case, the total amount of money needed from property owners for cities, like Brooklyn Park, to deliver services.

Budget process

The City operates on a two-year budget cycle. It takes some strategic planning and long-term forecasting to do a budget this way. How much should the city spend on road salt? What kind of recreational programs do we need? How long will our police cars and fire trucks last?

The city’s budget is a finance plan for city services that include:

  • Public Safety (Police and Fire)
  • Street Maintenance like street sweeping, snow plowing and engineering
  • Park planning and maintenance
  • Recreation and Parks facilities and programming
  • Community Development activities, which bring in new businesses and industries
  • Building Inspection and Code Enforcement
  • Legislative and administrative operations like elections, human resources and communications
  • Walk-in services like vehicle and DNR licensing

Preliminary levy

During budget season, which pretty much goes from May through the end of the year, there are lots of decisions that need to be made along the way before you ever get a bill.

One of the key budget moments is the City Council’s approval of the preliminary property tax levy. A levy is the total amount of money needed from property owners for cities to deliver services. Brooklyn Park council members set the levy in September. You get a notice from Hennepin County notifying you of the preliminary levy in November.

But that preliminary levy is simply that – preliminary. Brooklyn Park’s council members and city staff are currently fine-tuning the budget and levy to hold down tax increases to the minimum necessary to provide city services. The Council votes on the final levy amount in December, which determines your taxes.

Timeline

Budget Timeline

May

  • Staff introduces the budget process to Council

June

  • Budget Advisory Commission reports to Council

August

  • Economic Development Authority (EDA) discusses the preliminary budget

September

  • Council discusses budget
  • Council adopts a preliminary budget and tax levies

November

  • Economic Development Authority (EDA) adopts a final budget
  • Hennepin County mails the truth-in-taxation statements
  • Council discusses budget
  • Budget Advisory Commission reports to Council

December

  • Council holds a truth-in-taxation public hearing
  • Council adopts a final budget

Participant in the process

Do you feel like you don't have a say about the taxes you pay? That's not true. There are several ways you can get involved in the budget process to speak your mind.

Attend public meetings

There are meetings where Brooklyn Park's elected officials hold public hearings to give residents and business owners the opportunity to voice their concerns on budget priorities.

View the Council's calendar

Don’t have the time to come to a meeting? Here are other ways to get your voice heard.

Watch public meetings

Watch Brooklyn Park City Council meetings live at 7 p.m. on Monday nights on Comcast Cable Channel 16 or watch them online anytime.

Watch a council meeting

Stay plugged in to budget news

Watch Northwest Community Television’s daily newscasts or read the Brooklyn Park Sun Post’s weekly newspaper. Both media organizations have in-depth coverage of what’s happening at City Hall.

Read city correspondence

Be sure to read city correspondence such as Park Pages newsletter, this website or other official mailers from the City of Brooklyn Park.

Contact your elected officials

Contact the Mayor or your city council members with comments or concerns, as they ultimately make the final decision on budget issues.

Contact the council

Contact or join the Budget Advisory Commission

Contact members of the Budget Advisory Commission (BAC) or join the commission yourself. The BAC is a group of residents who take an in-depth look at the budget and advise the City Council of what they think the priorities for the budget should be.

Read more about the Budget Advisory Commission

Vote

And of course, vote in municipal elections.

Contact us

City Hall

5200 85th Ave. N.
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
View map and directions to City Hall

Hours

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone and email

763-493-8162
Contact the Finance Department

 
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