Minot homeowners will see an increase in property taxes with the approved budget.
In the budget for next year, a home in Minot with a median value of 187 thousand dollars will see an increase of roughly 16 dollars per month.
Alderman Shaun Sipma said that in order for the city to move forward... some sacrifices have to be made.
“I'm not at all crazy about or in favor of increasing taxes at all but knowing very well that past budgets have put us in this position to where we have a lot of debt services that we now are facing and we have to move forward and we have to pay our bills. So moving forward I think this is a first step and I think there will be many more steps down the road,” said Sipma.
The Budget passed by a vote of six to one, with Alderman Stephan Podrygula as the lone dissenting vote.
Podrygula objected to a hotly-debated part of the proposed budget--whether to freeze city employees’ salaries for six months in 2018.
Podrygula said employees such as law enforcement would go to find work elsewhere if the city cannot pay them adequately.
“You know we are facing significant cut backs in the quality and quantity of city services and I just can't justify that and again not to be disrespectful to the people who are so kind to me at the zoo from the park district I can't see spending a million dollars on a cat house when we can’t spend half a million dollars on our employees,” said Podrygula.
Meanwhile, Alderman Josh Wolsky, a proponent of the salary freeze, said the freeze would lessen the hit on Minot residents who would already be paying more property taxes in 2018.
“I think the citizens of Minot need to see us make a gesture that we are paying attention that we understand and appreciate the very significant increase that we are putting upon them with this large increase in mills and buy and large there is nothing we can do about that… and a reduction in the amount of that raise is the appropriate gesture,” said Wolsky.
You can find the city budget here: www.minotnd.org/Archive.aspx?AMID=38