Pequot Lakes: Tax levies, budgets approved with wage increases
Pequot Lakes police officers, city staff to receive 10% to 15% pay raises in 2022
Pequot Lakes police officers and city staff will see 10% to 15% pay raises in 2022 after the Pequot Lakes City Council adopted the 2022 total tax levy of $1,853,725, as well as 2022 budgets at the regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 7.
The pay raises resulted from market adjustments, new labor contracts and restructured job responsibilities.
“As a council, we understand that being competitive with pay and benefits for our staff is vital in maintaining quality and effective city staff,” Mayor Tyler Gardner said in an emailed statement. “As we work to grow the city and cut our tax rate, quality staff is imperative. We feel fortunate to have the staff that we do and want to do what we can to keep them on our team.”
The approved tax levies are the same preliminary numbers the council adopted in September; however, the city’s tax rate fell to 51.74%. Property taxes also include Crow Wing County and school district levies.
For Pequot Lakes property owners, the city portion of their taxes includes the following for 2022:
General revenue tax levy: $1,747,215.
Tax abatement levy for Pequot Lakes Supervalu: $18,960 ($880 increase from this year, or 4.87% higher). This will be the 11th of 13 years for the tax abatement levy. Before the grocery store was built, the city agreed to abate the city’s portion of taxes on the increased value of the development back to the developer from 2012-24.
General obligation utility revenue and disposal bond 2020A levy: $87,550. This bond was issued to fund the Rasmussen Road and South Washington Avenue project. The general obligation portion of the bond will be paid back with levy funds and the utility revenue and disposal portion of the bond will be paid back with money from the water and sewer funds.
Total levy: $1,853,725 ($7,190 increase from this year, or 0.39% higher).
The council also approved a Housing and Redevelopment Authority special levy of $47,442 ($1,195 increase from last year). Gardner voted no on this levy. That levy was raised for the first time last year after having remained the same for many years previously.
The council also approved the tax levy budgets, special revenue budgets, enterprise budgets and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority budget.
No one from the public spoke at a public hearing regarding the proposed levies and budgets.
Council member Scott Pederson and Gardner praised staff for their work on the budgets and levies.
Regarding wage increases, Gardner said at the meeting: “We want to take care of our employees because without them, boy would we be in trouble.”
Pederson said he liked the city’s direction, adding this is the first budget he’s voted for in the last several years.
Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.