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Dilworth proposes $1.1M in property tax due to growth

Dilworth city officials are proposing to collect more than $1.1 million from property owners next year. If City Council members approve a proposed 18.65 percent property tax levy increase later this month, it would mark the first time the city ha...

Dilworth city officials are proposing to collect more than

$1.1 million from property owners next year.

If City Council members approve a proposed 18.65 percent property tax levy increase later this month, it would mark the first time the city has collected more than $1 million from taxpayers, said City Administrator Ken Parke.

"It's mainly because of our growth that came on," he said.

A large factor is that the Wal-Mart Supercenter came onto the tax rolls for 2009, he said.

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The 212,000-square-foot store opened in March, replacing a 115,000-square-foot Wal-Mart that generated about $127,000 in annual property taxes.

Next year's increased city tax levy is projected to bring in $1,151,453, which is $181,000 more than the $970,453 collected in property taxes this year.

The City Council will visit the property tax issue Monday when it holds a truth in taxation public hearing on the city's 2009 budget. The proposed budget is just more than $1.8 million, an increase of 6.2 percent from 2008's $1.7 million budget.

The city's 2007 budget totaled $1.6 million, and 2006's was

$1.5 million.

Parke said property owners who either have no increases in their property value or an increase of 1 percent in property value should not see an increase in their city tax bill.

Included in Dilworth's 2009 budget is the addition of one officer to the police force, bringing the total number of city police officers to six.

Police Chief Dave Miller asked the council to hire another officer in October so the city has an adequate number of officers on patrol. He said patrol coverage could be hampered if on-duty officers are busy transporting someone to jail or interviewing people and there is no one to answer other calls.

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Parke said the new police officer is slated to start in January. The city also plans to use the 2009 tax funds to help pay for recent street improvement projects on the north side of town.

Monday's hearing on the city budget is an opportunity to gather public input before the council votes on it, Parke said. The council could take action on the budget Dec. 22.

Also Monday, the City Council will meet in executive session at 5 p.m. for labor union contract negotiations. The council could take action on the contracts for city employees when it meets for regular business immediately following Monday's truth in taxation hearing, Parke said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Benny Polacca at (701) 241-5504

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