ST. PETER — St. Peter residents are likely to see a tax levy increase next year.

The City Council set its preliminary levy at its meeting this week, proposing a gross levy increase of $258,026, or 8.6%.

Finance Director Sally Vogel said rising costs are the main drivers of the increase.

“For the most part it’s wages and insurance costs are increasing, and we have some miscellaneous costs throughout,” she said.

Those costs include the city’s first $92,000 debt payment for its pavilion project, which comes due in February 2020. The pavilion in Minnesota Square Park was completed over the summer. Another $50,000 is needed for the third year of a three-year sidewalk plan.

The estimated market value on homes in St. Peter is projected to rise by 4.8%, with Nicollet County set to finalize the figure in December. If it remains as is, a home rising in value from $150,000 in 2019 to $157,200 in 2020 would pay an extra $62.25 in taxes next year. A commercial property rising in value from $250,000 in 2019 to $262,000 in 2020 would come with a nearly $197 tax increase.

Properties which didn’t increase in value would see lower tax increases. A $150,000 home would have a $21.46 increase, while a $250,000 commercial property would come with a $72.25 increase.

Mayor Chuck Zieman said the levy isn’t likely to change much before final approval in December, but it can only stay the same or go down once the preliminary figures are approved.

“That’s why we go with this higher number to begin with because like I say, we can always go down,” he said.

The council unanimously approved the preliminary levy.

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArola

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