St. Paul mayor proposes tax increase to balance city budget

Mayor Chris Coleman
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.
MPR Photo/Marisa Helms

St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman proposed an 8 percent tax increase for 2009 in a budget address Tuesday.

Next year, St. Paul will retreat from this year's steep tax increase, when the city levy rose by 15 percent. It was a historic high for the city.

Mayor Chris Coleman proposed about $7 million in new taxes for 2009, a hike that he says will finally bring the city budget into ongoing balance.

"The city had been borrowing money to pay for ongoing expenses, tapping every reserve, and every time we'd go to put the budget together, we'd have to plug two holes. One was the inflationary increases on energy or health care, and the second was one-time revenue sources we'd used in the previous year," Coleman said.

The city is also adding two firefighters and 14 police officers. The police force will reach an all time high, nearing 650 officers.

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