Mayor Don Ness Proposes 2014 Duluth City Budget

By KBJR News 1

Mayor Don Ness Proposes 2014 Duluth City Budget

August 26, 2013 Updated Aug 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The proposed budget for Duluth next year contains promising news for homeowners. It includes a bit of relief in the way of property taxes. An early look at the budget shows very little change between this year and 2014.

On Monday, Mayor Ness formerly pitched the 2014 Duluth City Budget to members of city council.

Following through on his preliminary proposal back in July, Mayor Ness credits economic growth for the potential property tax freeze.

With the proposed 0% levy increase, homeowners could actually see a small decrease in property tax.

The city is also expected to receive certified local government aid totaling $1.6 million, which will cover portions of city employee and retiree healthcare costs.

It was noted that there is expected to be a 10% increase in city employee health care costs because of expiring federal aid for retiree health care expenses.

The Mayor and Councilors say this budget proposal could put the city in a good place financially in 2014.

"Our goal going forward is not to see big changes in our budgeting. We don't want to see big cuts to the services, we don't want to see big increases to the taxes that people pay for their cities services, but just kind of have that slow and steady approach of maintaining good solid operations with the resources that we have available," said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

"I'm feeling really pretty good about where we're at. I'm feeling good about the city staffs efforts and the mayor, and I'm proud to be able to say that it'll be a zero percent levy increase," said councilor Sharla Gardner.

Monday's presentation was a budget proposal, The Duluth City Council will take a closer look at the budget details in the coming months and will have a final 2014 budget in place by December.

Jeremy Brickley
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