Property taxes are about to go up for a majority of St. Paul homeowners.
The owner of a typical St. Paul home faces a potential 4.9 percent increase in property taxes in 2016 under proposals being considered by the city, school district and Ramsey County.
The projections presented Monday to a panel of local leaders are more favorable than those of a year ago, when a 7.3 percent tax hike was being forecast for the city's median-valued home.
In addition, individual neighborhoods are expected to see more modest increases than in 2015. A typical homeowner in only three of the city's 17 planning districts — Frogtown, the North End and downtown — could expect to see double-digit percentage increases, according to Chris Samuel, the county's property records and revenue manager.
Still, panel members expressed disappointment that the city was gaining less revenue from the metrowide fiscal disparities pool — a source of revenue outside its control that in previous years has helped ease the impact of taxes levied by the city, county and school district.
For a median-valued $151,500 home, taxes would rise $100 — from $2,036 to $2,136 — with the school district taking the biggest share at $42, the projections show.
Last week, the St. Paul School District boosted the maximum amount it could raise from a 2.75 percent increase to a 3.85 percent increase. Officials attributed the change to such factors as reduced state aid on the revenue side and higher pension costs on the expenditure side.
"We have been conscientious in how we spend our money," Superintendent Valeria Silva told panel members.
Typically, property owners across the state must wait until Truth in Taxation statements are mailed in November to know what the combined tax-levy impacts might be for the next year. Monday's presentation was made possible by the unique nature of St. Paul's joint committee, which was created by state law in the early 1990s.
Samuel's office also broke down tax-bill projections by planning district. Median-valued homes in the North End, Frogtown and downtown areas face potential increases of 22.7 percent, 15.6 percent and 15.2 percent, respectively, primarily because their market values showed double-digit percentage increases, too.
Overall, market values are on the rise for all classes of property in the city, from residential to apartments to industrial, a sign that St. Paul has made "a pretty healthy recovery from the recession," Samuel told panel members.
The committee, mindful of the sticker shock that can come with individual double-digit percentage tax increases, has asked the county to look into adding an insert to next year's property tax bills indicating what people could recoup if they were to file for a state targeting property tax refund. Under that program, refunds are available to homeowners whose property taxes have increased by more than 12 percent and whose increases are more than $100. But they have to file for it, County Commissioner Janice Rettman said.
Median-valued homes in Highland and Macalester-Groveland, two of the city's largest and healthiest neighborhoods, could see property-tax increases of 3.1 and 1.3 percent. In the West End, where the market value of a median-valued home increased by 8 percent, property taxes could rise by 9.7 percent.
Samuel said that the county expects to mail Truth in Taxation statements in mid-November.