Rybak proposes 2 percent tax levy increase

Mayor R.T. Rybak today proposed a $5.6 million — or 2 percent — property tax levy increase in 2012.

Rybak touted his budget as his lowest tax increase during his 10 years in office. Last year he proposed raising taxes by 6.5 percent. He and the City Council eventually agreed on a 4.7 percent hike.

Rybak did not have budget specifics at a press conference today, but he said “we will definitely have fewer people working for the city of Minneapolis next year.”

“The reality is it will probably be a combination of attrition and layoffs,” he said.

Rybak said a detailed budget would come on Sept. 12, when he gives a speech to the City Council.

He also plans, at that time, to have a more detailed breakdown of how a 2 percent tax hike would affect homeowners.

Last year’s 4.7 percent tax increase didn’t represent the pain many homeowners felt. About 35 percent of homeowners experienced 15- to 17.5-percent increase on their tax bills due to a shifting burden from commercial property taxes to residential property taxes.

Rybak’s budget plans on a merger of two closed city pensions into a statewide plan. That pension merger will save the city about $2 million, but it hasn’t been agreed upon by retired police officers.

Rybak’s budget plans on no wage increases for employees. He said the city is negotiating with the unions to achieve that goal.