City revenue below 2007 levels

ST. PAUL — While city revenue continued to rise in 2016, when adjusted for inflation, it is still below 2007 income, according to the Office of the State Auditor.

State Auditor Rebecca Otto released the 2016 Minnesota city finance report for 2016 Thursday. The report details how cities manage their budgets.

“The city finances report is issued each year to help local government officials, policy makers and the public better understand city financial operations,” Otto said in a press release. “The report also analyzes long-term financial trends for large and small cities across Minnesota.”

Total revenues for all cities in the state rose 3.7 percent from 2015 to $5.43 billion. Expenditures increased 4.6 percent from 2015 to $6.3 billion.

The report found city revenues have dropped 3.3 percent since 2007 over the last decade when adjusting for inflation.

Over the same period, actual revenue from property taxes grew 41.5 percent. Revenue from federal grants decreased 12 percent, state grants increased 6.2 percent and local grants increased 30.9 percent.

New Ulm’s single largest category of revenue was taxes at $8,479,028, or 40.6 percent. That was followed by state grants at $7.4 million and special assessments at $1.2 million.

The city’s total revenue for 2016 was $20,878,715. Tax revenue increased by almost 2 percent ($163,984) between 2015 and 2016. Total revenue decreased by about 4.2 percent ($914,437).

The largest expenditures in most cities fell into two categories, streets and highways, and public safety, according to the report.

New Ulm’s largest expenditure for 2016 was for culture and recreation at $3,872,251. It was 16 percent of total expenditures.

That was followed by $3.4 million for streets and highways and almost $3.2 million for public safety.

New Ulm’s total expenditures in 2016 were $24,088,090, an increase of 6.5 percent ($1,463,457) from 2015.

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