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Minneapolis, St. Paul approve city budgets

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Minneapolis and St. Paul city councils approved 2013 budget measures Wednesday.

In Minneapolis, a public hearing that's usually packed with agitated citizens was much quieter.

MPR reports the $1 billion budget includes nearly a 1.8 percent increase in the property tax levy. The majority of homeowners will see no increase or a decrease in property taxes next year thanks to the Vikings stadium deal.

Mayor R.T. Rybak says the deal takes Target Center debt off the city's ledger, allowing a lower levy increase.

At city hall in St. Paul, a $500 million budget was passed that includes a $1 million contingency fund for the police department's trouble crime lab, MPR reports.

Cuts over the last decade reduced the number of food inspectors in the city, so $700,000 will be used to hire additional employees.

A 1.9 percent increase in the property tax levy was also approved, which is at or below the rate of inflation, according to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

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