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Rochester Residents Outraged at Possible Tax Increase

December 05, 2017 12:36 AM

(ABC 6 News) - Monday night, the Rochester City Council held a public hearing for the recommended 2018 budget.

It took almost 90 minutes for the council to get through the public hearing. The majority of people who spoke were livid about a possible increase in property taxes.

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According to a budget presentation, on September 18th, the council adopted the preliminary property tax of more than $68.5 million. According to Minnesota state law, that is the maximum property that can be levied. The presentation went on to say that most of those property taxes are recommended to go towards public safety.

Rochester residents were outraged, some saying the city needs to rethink where they're distributing their money.

“We need to have good roads and good schools and good parks, but we don't need to be lavish with them and go overboard with all sorts of expenses that are not necessary," Rochester resident Duane Mathias said.

After the hearing, Council President Randy Staver said he understands their concerns and that "We're all taxpayers," saying it will affect the entire city and all its employees.

ABC 6 News also contacted Staver after the meeting, he went on to say that he thinks the community’s frustrations stem from two reasons. The first one being that it isn’t always understood why property valuations and taxes go up or down, and secondly, this especially impacts people who are on fixed incomes.

Budget workshops will continue Tuesday and Wednesday and another public hearing on the 2018 budget will be held at the December 18 meeting.


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Elise Romas

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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