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The only saving grace for the budget process this year is that the Human Services Department “found $300,000 in savings,” said Commissioner Ben Grimsley. “That’s the only thing that keeps the budget from being completely atrocious.”
The Detroit Lakes City Council approved the preliminary budget and a 9.86% tax levy increase for 2023 during its Sept. 13 meeting. Council members also approved an $18.3 million bond issuance to finance payments for the city's new public works building, West Lake Drive projects and other street and utility projects currently underway.
Minnesota is among a group of states that have not conformed their codes to a federal law exempting student loan debt forgiveness from taxes. Changing that has bipartisan backing, but any action will likely have to wait until January when lawmakers return to the capitol in St. Paul for the regular session.
While this prediction is preliminary, City Manager Jonathan Smith said, the tax levy could increase by 30%.
More than 872,000 Minnesotans already filed for 2020 property tax refunds, with over $792 million in refunds issued to date. The average refund is about $1,000 for homeowners and $700 for renters.
You can save hundreds of dollars by saving receipts and reporting your school expenses at tax time.

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Due to the rising cost of the West Lake Drive Phase Two street and utility project, between County Road 6 and the Pelican River, and significantly higher than estimated assessments to property owners, a second special assessment public hearing has been scheduled for the project on June 7 at 5 p.m. at City Hall in Detroit Lakes.
A DFL-backed tax proposal would provide day care write-offs, property tax cuts, and student loan credits, though it is a substantially smaller cut than a proposal approved by the Republican-controlled Senate in early April. But its sponsor said it seeks to provide relief to those who need it the most.
Property owner Karen Skoyles told the Detroit Lakes Board of Appeals and Equalization this week that her family's 6.4 acre property on Ox Cart Trail shouldn't have more than doubled in value when no major additions were made to the property or surrounding area.

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