Area councils set 2012 taxes, budgets 07 Dec 11

Communities around the area are nearing the end of their budget-setting seasons, but not without a struggle.

Prior Lake taxpayers gave council members an earful at their Truth-in-Taxation meeting Monday, saying that although taxes were going down, the council’s spending is out of control and the city is holding onto a surplus in reserve funds.

In Farmington, city council members were split on what to do with the tax levy. After two previous 2012 budget plans failed, the council on Monday night voted 3-2 to pass a final budget keeping its levy flat.

Council member Christy Jo Fogarty says the new plan is meant to send a message to legislators about the elimination of the Market Value Homestead Credit. Council members Julie May and Terry Donnelly, who voted against the budget, say they worry the message the council wants to send would be balanced on the backs of business owners.