Champlin Newsletter Winter 2011 : Page 1

W I N T E R E D I T I O N Champlin Chronicle 2012 Budget Information Champlin Residents Need to Know By: Bret Heitkamp, City Administrator City staff along with the Mayor and City Council takes a great deal of pride in the extremely strong financial position of the City. This is exemplified by our annual commitment to our Financial Management Plan (FMP). The FMP serves as the City’s financial planning mechanism and identifies baseline needs for the community for the next five to ten years. Based on these needs, the plan provides a framework for analyzing the impacts of those needs based on a series of basic assumptions that include: tax capacity, debt, growth revenues, operating expenses, capital equipment allocations, infrastructure improvements, and of course the most elusive of all, legislative decision making and mandates. All of these variables have a direct influence on the City’s budget and ultimately the bottom line responsibility, which is the provision of core services to all of us as residents. In an attempt to solicit input and continually increase the communication with the taxpayers, the City surveys our residents every five years, requesting feedback on a series of issues, all of which affect the bottom line decision making associated with the provision of municipal services. The resident survey is scheduled to be conducted once again in the spring/ summer of 2012. The most prominent responses from the resident surveys in both 2002 and 2007, involved a directive to the Council to “protect my home value” and “preserve my neighborhood.” The City Council responded by implementing a proactive vs. reactive Code Enforcement 3 • Refuse & Recycling Schedule Program in 2006, which has 5 • Champlin’s Newest Restaurant resulted in a more aggressive approach to enforcing the 6-9 • General Fund Budget 2012 City’s property maintenance code. Potential code issues 10 • Fire Prevention could involve a request to remove unlicensed vehicles from an adjacent property, or requiring the replacement of defective building materials on a neighboring home. In reality, the vast majority of the Code Enforcement concerns that are forwarded to City staff are received from neighbors that would like an issue addressed, but would prefer not to confront their neighbor for obvious reasons. The increased resources allocated for the Code Enforcement program have provided results that have been well-received by the community on most fronts, but the additional enforcement also has its share of residents who don’t support varied aspects of the program. The economic downturn that began unofficially in 2008, and whose effects still linger strongly today has resulted in economic hardships for property owners and many residents have claimed that they are not in a financial position to address some of the property maintenance violations that have occurred. This brings up a very valid question that the City Council continues to struggle with in finalizing program and service allocations for the 2012 budget process. “When are these types of programs and services that have been requested by the residents viewed as government doing its job and protecting the value and equity in their homes and neighborhoods”; and “When is it too much government”? This is an issue that has been the topic of discussion at all levels of government. The fact is that taxpayers across the country do not have an overly positive or supportive view of government in general, and especially in these difficult economic times. That is why I think it is important to share some pertinent information that may help separate the Champlin municipal operations from some of the perceptions associated with other governmental agencies. I have mentioned in the past that from 2006-2009, which is the last time the data was formulated, Champlin residents have paid the lowest tax-burden per capita of the cities in the northwest metropolitan area and nearly one-half of the state per capita average. City staff and the City Council have made every effort in the ensuing years to maintain that statistic. (Continued on page 3) city of WHAT’S INSIDE 11 • Holiday Card Fundraiser 12 • Three Rivers Park Programs 15 • Road & Utility Project 2 011

2012 Budget Information Champlin Residents Need To Know

Bret Heitkamp

city of Champlin Chronicle

2012 Budget Information Champlin Residents Need to Know

City staff along with the Mayor and City Council takes a great deal of pride in the extremely strong financial position of the City. This is exemplified by our annual commitment to our Financial Management Plan (FMP).The FMP serves as the City’s financial planning mechanism and identifies baseline needs for the community for the next five to ten years. Based on these needs, the plan provides a framework for analyzing the impacts of those needs based on a series of basic assumptions that include: tax capacity, debt, growth revenues, operating expenses, capital equipment allocations, infrastructure improvements, and of course the most elusive of all, legislative decision making and mandates. All of these variables have a direct influence on the City’s budget and ultimately the bottom line responsibility, which is the provision of core services to all of us as residents.

In an attempt to solicit input and continually increase the communication with the taxpayers, the City surveys our residents every five years, requesting feedback on a series of issues, all of which affect the bottom line decision making associated with the provision of municipal services.The resident survey is scheduled to be conducted once again in the spring/ summer of 2012. The most prominent responses from the resident surveys in both 2002 and 2007, involved a directive to the Council to “protect my home value” and “preserve my neighborhood.” The City Council responded by implementing a proactive vs. reactive Code Enforcement Program in 2006, which has resulted in a more aggressive approach to enforcing the City’s property maintenance code. Potential code issues could involve a request to Remove unlicensed vehicles from an adjacent property, or requiring the replacement of defective building materials on a neighboring home. In reality, the vast majority of the Code Enforcement concerns that are forwarded to City staff are received from neighbors that would like an issue addressed, but would prefer not to confront their neighbor for obvious reasons.

The increased resources allocated for the Code Enforcement program have provided results that have been well-received by the community on most fronts, but the additional enforcement also has its share of residents who don’t support varied aspects of the program. The economic downturn that began unofficially in 2008, and whose effects still linger strongly today has resulted in economic hardships for property owners and many residents have claimed that they are not in a financial position to address some of the property maintenance violations that have occurred. This brings up a very valid question that the City Council continues to struggle with in finalizing program and service allocations for the 2012 budget process.“When are these types of programs and services that have been requested by the residents viewed as government doing its job and protecting the value and equity in their homes and neighborhoods”; and “When is it too much government”? This is an issue that has been the topic of discussion at all levels of government. The fact is that taxpayers across the country do not have an overly positive or supportive view of government in general, and especially in these difficult economic times. That is why I think it is important to share some pertinent information that may help separate the Champlin municipal operations from some of the perceptions associated with other governmental agencies.

I have mentioned in the past that from 2006-2009, which is the last time the data was formulated, Champlin residents have paid the lowest taxburden per capita of the cities in the northwest metropolitan area and nearly one-half of the state per capita average. City staff and the City Council have made every effort in the ensuing years to maintain that statistic.For 2012, the net tax levy is proposed to be reduced by (-8.44%). This is after the legislature has eliminated Local Government Aid and the Market Value Homestead Credit. In addition, the City’s tax capacity decreased another (-5.43%) for payable 2012 resulting in a lower tax base over which the levy could be spread. The bottom line is that based on the reduction in the proposed levy adopted by the City Council in September, the median valued home ($181,000) in Champlin would experience a $0 increase in property taxes paid for local programs and services for 2012.

According to information recently released by Hennepin County, 80.22% of residential properties in Champlin will see an overall property tax reduction of zero to $300, based on Payable 2011 Taxes and Proposed 2012 Truth-in-Taxation Notices, which were sent to homeowners November 15th. That tax reduction ratio is more than double the average of suburban Hennepin County municipalities. Of the forty-five cities (excluding Minneapolis) in Hennepin County, only Robbinsdale and St. Bonifacius residents will see a greater property tax reduction than Champlin in 2012.

We certainly understand the importance and are looking forward to the feedback received from the residents as part of the Champlin Community Survey that is included in the 2012 operating budget and encourage our residents to participate if they are contacted. This information will serve as the fundamental framework for the allocation of programs and services provided at the local level, for the next five years and beyond.

If you would like additional information on the proposed 2012 Operating Budget, please feel free to contact me at bheitkamp@ci.champlin.mn.us or 763-923-7110. The final budget town meeting will be held on Monday, December 12th, at 7:00 p.m., at the Champlin Municipal Center. I hope you and your family have a very special holiday season.

Read the full article at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/2012+Budget+Information+Champlin+Residents+Need+To+Know/908331/91327/article.html.

Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here