City council weighs 1 percent property tax hike

Published on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 by Tara Nelson

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Blaine homeowners can anticipate a slight increase in their property taxes next year if a proposed increase is approved by council.

In their regular meeting Monday, Blaine City Council reviewed a proposed property tax levy that would increase property tax  revenue by 1 percent – about a 4 cent increase per $1,000 of assessed home value – as much as state law will allow under voter-approved initiative 747.

The initiative, sponsored by Tim Eyman and passed in 2001, imposes a 1 percent limit on increases in revenue from property taxes, with the exception of taxes from new construction. Anti-taxation groups estimate the measure has saved taxpayers approximately $1 billion since it was passed with 58 percent voter approval. Others argue that amount is $1 billion that was cut from public services, programs and schools.

Blaine city manager Gary Tomsic said the city is additionally capped at imposing a total combined levy of $3.60 per $1,000 of assessed home value. That amount includes fire district and library levies, he said.
Tomsic said the increase will generate an additional $9,252.32 for the city’s general fund plus revenue from new construction.

Several audience members urged the council not to approve the proposed increase.

“I find it to be a bit of an oxymoron that you would prefer to save developers money from removing impact fees and recover it by further taxing the citizens,” said Blaine resident Trevor Hoskins.