Richfield council approves 2024 tax levy and budget

Richfield council approves 2024 tax levy and budget

 Richfield, Minn. (December 20, 2023) – To city manager, Katie Rodriguez, the 2024 budget represents progress. 2024 budget cover snip

“If I had to use one word to summarize the 2024 budget, it would be progress,” reflected Rodriguez. “We’re making progress on needed improvements, from technology to infrastructure. We are making strides in our strategic priorities. We are supporting our staff and planning for their success. All of this progress will pay off as we serve our residents better in the years to come.”

Last week, the city council voted to approve that progress along with the 2024 proposed budget and property tax levy. The property tax levy for the 2024 budget is $28,363,158, which is a 5.89 percent increase over 2023. That increase is the outcome of balancing the city’s priorities with the reality of limited resources.

Richfield Mayor, Mary Supple, acknowledged the challenge faced by staff in developing the budget.

“We asked you to be very prudent and pragmatic and find the best way to use the resources we have,” said Supple. “We know it takes a lot for our taxpayers to contribute that money. I want to thank them for allowing us to do that long-term planning through this budgeting process.”

Helping to offset some of that pressure was a one-time increase in Local Government Aid (LGA) for 2024. Richfield can expect to receive $4.8 million in 2024, up from the $3.5 million it received in 2023.

Additionally, the 2023-2026 strategic plan helped place a framework on budget decisions when it came to the city’s limited resources. When examining the needs of the city and limitations of staff and funding, the strategic priorities offered clarification. Those priorities include: operational excellence, community development, sustainable infrastructure, high-quality workforce and equity.

“One of the things I am most excited for in this budget is to see us investing in our strategic priorities,” noted councilmember Ben Whalen earlier this fall. “We’re finally investing in our sustainability and climate work and putting our money where our priorities are. This is also true in areas of equity, infrastructure and particularly with the investment in our staff.”

Significant changes during the 2023 state legislative session will also impact city operations in 2024. Most notably through various one-time funding opportunities, from LGA to housing funds to public safety dollars. The implementation of adult-use cannabis licensing and new regulations around paid leave offered to employees will also impact staff workload and administrative obligations.

When it comes to the impact on residents, an average Richfield households can expect to pay an additional $91 annually in property taxes to the city. A regularly scheduled increase to utility fees, plus an overdue boost to franchise fees, will add an additional $85 to an average household’s utility bill for 2024.

Property taxes are also collected for Hennepin County, Richfield Public Schools, the Metropolitan Council and other special taxing districts.

When compared to surrounding cities, and the state of Minnesota as a whole, the city’s levy has remained modest. The 2024 average levy change in Minnesota is 8.4 percent, where neighbors Edina and Bloomington have both approved increases of more than 9 percent.   

The proposed levy amount includes the General Fund levy, Equipment Fund levy, the EDA levy and Debt Service levy.

The General Fund has a budget of $30.89 million for 2024. Revenue for the General Fund is generated through property taxes, fees from licenses and permits, charges for services and other transfers. The largest expense in the General Fund comes from personnel costs for the staff who serve the city.

“Our biggest asset is our dedicated staff,” acknowledged Rodriguez. “We are proud of our employees and are taking steps to make sure they have the training and technology needed to do their jobs.”

Residents interested in learning more about the budget can view materials on the city’s website, at: