Minneapolis OKs billion-dollar 2013 budget

The Minneapolis City Council approved the city's 2013 budget Wednesday night after a brief and non-contentious public hearing at City Hall.

The overall 2013 budget is just over $1 billion and is slightly smaller than the 2012 budget. Highlights include money for new police officers, two more 911 operators and more road repairs.

In past years, the public comment portion of the annual budget adoption meeting stretched to well over an hour, with dozens of agitated citizens complaining about soaring property taxes.

This year, none of the five people who testified in front of the council said anything about taxes. That may be because some taxpayers decided to stay off the ice-rutted streets. Or it may be because this year's levy increase, 1.77 percent, is smaller than past years.

Mayor R.T. Rybak said that 70 percent of homeowners will see no increase or even a decrease in next year's property tax bill. And he said the levy increase is lower than in past years because the Vikings stadium deal takes Target Center debt payments off the city's ledger.

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