Nisswa: Tax levy to bump up 1.82 percent in 2021

City will see increase in net tax capacity, which reflects how much property value the city has and means the tax impact will be spread over more city properties.

The Nisswa City Council listens to a citizen during the city's truth in taxation meeting about the city's 2021 budget and general revenue tax levy Wednesday, Dec. 16, at city hall. Screenshot / Nancy Vogt

Nisswa property owners will see a 1.82% rise in the city portion of their general revenue property tax levy after the Nisswa City Council approved the 2021 budget and levy.

The council on Wednesday, Dec. 16, approved a total general revenue tax levy of $2,510,000 for 2021, which is $44,985 higher than this year’s levy.

Nisswa: Preliminary levy shows 3% increase; goal to reduce that number, changes meeting night for 2021 Council agrees to change meeting night to third Tuesday of the month starting in 2021

The city’s 2021 tax rate is estimated at 30.712%, compared to the 2020 rate of 31.651%. Nisswa has the fifth lowest tax rate in 2020 in Crow Wing County, and the second lowest when comparing Nisswa to similar cities.

City Administrator Jenny Max said the city will see a 5.2% increase in net tax capacity, which reflects how much property value the city has and means the tax impact will be spread over more city properties.


That total levy includes:

  • General property tax levy: $1,958,019.

  • General obligation street reconstruction bond for the County Road 18/Highway 371 realignment project: $91,067.

  • General obligation capital improvement plan bond for the city hall building: $186,076.

  • General obligation street reconstruction bond for various road improvements: $274,838.

The preliminary levy adopted in September was $2,538,965, or $28,965 more than what the council adopted Dec. 16.
Max explained that because she inadvertently certified the wrong preliminary tax levy number to Crow Wing County, the preliminary property tax statements Nisswa residents and businesses received in November showed much higher increases than will truly be the case.

Two residents attended the city’s truth in taxation public hearing Dec. 16 at city hall to question just that. The public hearing was held before the council’s regular meeting for residents to ask questions about the proposed final budget and tax levy.

Council members, staff and members of the public were at city hall for the public hearing and regular meeting, and both also could be viewed on YouTube.

The council approved a 2021 general fund budget of $3,086,037, or 1.75% more than in 2020 ($3,033,048).

City budgets are divided into the following funds:

  • Governmental Funds: General Fund and Debt Service Funds.

  • Proprietary Funds: Liquor Fund (Spirits of Nisswa and the Pickle Factory municipal liquor operations) and Sewer Fund.

  • Nonmajor Funds: Capital Project Fund and Special Revenue Fund.

City revenues include General Fund revenue, General Fund levy and transfers from the Liquor Fund ($40,000 from the Pickle Factory and $225,000 from Spirits of Nisswa).
An increase in expenses for 2021 include:

  • 2% cost of living increase for staff or per union contract.

  • 5% health insurance contribution increase.

  • $25 per meeting pay for commissions and committees (planning and zoning committee members will still be paid $80 per meeting).

  • $70,000 to keep the city’s recycling center ($35,000 contribution from Crow Wing County).

  • 13% increase in workers compensation.

Residents and businesses can visit the city’s website to find the impact to their property taxes.
Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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