Coleman: No Property Tax Increase for St. Paul

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman wants to hold the line on property taxes next year for St. Paul homes, and maybe even reduce the total taxes and fees they pay for essential services.

Following tax increases, often with service cuts, every year he's been in office, Coleman on Wednesday declared a sort of victory over the city's seemingly perpetual budget shortfall. He proposed a $531.6 million spending plan for 2011 that not only keeps the property tax levy flat but also slightly increases funding for police and fire training and promotions.

"We asked people to bear more of the burden," Coleman said. "We know that that was hard, but it was honest. ... We've made tough choices. But because we made those choices, the 2011 budget is the most stable in years."

The $531.6 million spending plan maintains flat or nearly flat staffing and service levels for most departments. The plan relies on receiving $62.5 million in state aid payments already approved by the Legislature. It is subject to public hearings before city council approval around the end of the year.

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