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Nisswa: Tax levy to increase 11% in 2022

Council did lower the final levy number from the preliminary number that was set in September.

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Nisswa property owners will see an 11% hike in the city portion of their general revenue property tax levy after the Nisswa City Council approved the 2022 budget and levy.

The council on Tuesday, Dec. 21, approved a total general revenue tax levy of $2,786,000, which is $276,000 higher than this year. However, the final levy number is a decrease of $87,950 from the preliminary levy of $2,873,950 set in September.

This follows just a 1.82% increase in city property taxes in 2021, which City Administrator Jenny Max attributed to the council being mindful of COVID-19 pandemic impacts on people.

The city’s 2022 tax rate is estimated at 31.020%, compared to the 2021 rate of 30.712%.

Nisswa has the fifth lowest tax rate in 2022 in Crow Wing County, and the second lowest when comparing Nisswa to similar cities.

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Max said the city will see a 9.89% 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: $2,237,863.

  • General obligation street reconstruction bond for the County Road 18/Highway 371 realignment project: $90,258.

  • General obligation capital improvement plan bond for the city hall building: $183,304.

  • General obligation street reconstruction bond for various road improvements: $274,575.

No one spoke at a public hearing held before the council’s regular meeting for residents to ask questions about the proposed final budget and tax levy. One woman did later ask a question about the increase.
The council approved a 2022 general fund budget of $3,397,882, or 10.11% higher than in 2021 ($3,086,037).

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 2022 include:

  • $108,000 in wage increases due to a market adjustment for staff wages based on a compensation study plus a 5% cost-of-living increase in staff wages.

  • $70,000 to keep the city’s recycling operation (Crow Wing County will contribute $35,000).

  • $44,000 in funding for parks and recreation programming.

  • $20,000 increase in workers compensation.

  • $25,000 for country/state road project reserves.

Residents and businesses can visit the city’s website to find the impact to their property taxes.
Max said a new item staff and council members worked on during the budget process was a strategic plan process. Goals of a strategic plan are to promote best practices, preserve natural resources, expand business in an efficient and purposeful manner, maximize services and revenues, and provide a roadmap for the future.

Strategic plan categories include long range infrastructure plan (10-year capital improvement plans for departments), policy and ordinance synchronization, employee retention and satisfaction plan, operations efficiency plan and a safety plan.

Max said the council spent the most time on the capital improvement plans. This process will continue.

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Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.

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 nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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