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St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced his budget proposal for 2023 on Thursday. 

The mayor is proposing an increase in the property tax levy of 15.34% — a $26.9 million rise — which marks the largest increase since Carter has been in office. 

Carter said in a press conference that the reason for the tax hike is twofold: Half of the increase is due to inflation and other operation costs. The other half is because the fees typically charged to property owners for street maintenance – including street sweeping – is now being wrapped up into property tax.

Residents would see $231 property tax increase for a median-value home if the budget is passed by the city council, albeit owners will no longer have to pay the street maintenance fees.

In total, the $782 million budget proposed is $41 million higher than this year's.

Courtesy of the city of St. Paul.

Courtesy of the city of St. Paul.

In addition, Carter also addressed hiring for police, fire and other city services:

  • Police will expand from 763 full-time employees to 782
  • Fire will expand from 496 full-time employees to 504
    • Six basic life support medic cadets and two arson investigators to be added
  • Department of Safety and Inspections will expand from 150 full-time employees to 157
  • Parks and Recreation will expand from 595 full-time employees to 608
  • Public Works will expand from 371 to 372

Carter's plan would see the reduction of one mayor's office employee and two from the Office of Technology Services.

Carter also outlined the movement of funds from the city's Housing Trust Funding to establish an Inheritance Fund, which would offer forgivable loans up to $100,000 for home down payments and repairs to former residents of the former Rondo neighborhood, which was devastated by the construction of I-94.

The final budget is expected to approved by the city council in December. To see the full proposed budget, click here.

Earlier this week, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced his 2023-24 budget proposal. Joining Carter in a "strong mayor" approach, Frey outlined more funds going towards public safety-related spending. A total of $3.3 billion was proposed for the biennial budget, with a heavy focus on public safety, economic inclusion, climate and public health, city capacity and performance, and affordable housing. 

Check out Carter's announcement below.

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