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East Grand Forks council approves 2023 budget

A 10% increase to the property tax levy was approved by council members two weeks ago

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East Grand Forks City Hall. Herald file photo.
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EAST GRAND FORKS — Council members voted 5-1 to approve the 2023 budget with a $12.7 million general fund, which is 5.7% higher than this year’s fund.

Council member Dale Helms voted no, and council member Tim Johnson was absent.

In prior meetings Helms raised concerns about the burden tax increases will have on property owners. Originally council members reviewed a 12% increase to the property tax levy, but agreed that it needed to be lowered.

A 10% increase to the property tax levy was approved two weeks ago. Property taxes are expected to rake in $6.6 million next year, which is $600,007 more than this year.

The increase to the property tax levy comes as the city expects to spend more on utilities, workers' comp, wages and fuel. The total expenditures next year is estimated to come in at $12,776,485.

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In 2023, the city is looking to bring in an estimated $12,625,926 in revenue, with an additional $150,000 to come out of city reserves to cover all expenses, which is lower than the $457,456 the city has spent from its reserves to cover expenses this year.

Going into next year council members and Mayor Steve Gander concurred that more discussion and work will need to be done in order to lower property taxes for 2024.

In other news Tuesday, council members:

Recognized council members Marc DeMers, at-large, and Johnson, Ward 4, who will no longer serve on the City Council. Newcomers Ben Pokrzywinski, will serve in Ward 2 and Karen Peterson will serve in the at-large seat. Helms, who currently serves in Ward 2, won the Ward 4 seat. An organizational meeting will be held before the regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Approved an agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Transportation authorizing MNDOT to act as the city’s agent to accept federal funds on behalf of the city.

Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 701-780-1267 or MArbegast@gfherald.com.

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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