Duluth City Council to vote Monday on new park levy Referendum

- In 2012, Duluth's City Council passed a "Parks Fund Levy," creating a property tax...
- In 2012, Duluth's City Council passed a "Parks Fund Levy," creating a property tax specifically for park maintenance.(CBS 3 Duluth)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 11:32 AM CDT
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DULTUH, MN-- The City of Duluth officially announced a new referendum to restore the park fund levy Thursday morning.

Originally created in 2012, the council passed a “Parks Fund Levy,” creating a property tax specifically for park maintenance.

The parks funding was capped at around $2.6 million, so it hasn’t adjusted with inflation over the past decade.

The referendum would appear on ballots this November if approved by the council. They will vote on the ballot language at the Monday, August 15 meeting.

According to the city, the 2012-established Park Fund Levy payment for a home valued at $200,000 has dropped from $94.53 in 2012 to what will be $58.01 in 2023 if no change is made.

The proposed change to the park fund levy would change the basis of the levy from a capped dollar amount to a fixed percentage of property value, making growth and market-driven fluctuation possible in the future.

The city says if restored, annual payments to the Park Fund Levy would return to the 2012 amount.

“The proposed resolution provides the voters of Duluth the opportunity to maintain our greatest natural resource – our city

parks,” said City Councilor and Parks Commission liaison Terese Tomanek.

The council will also consider companion actions such as a resolution committing to geographic equity in use of the park fund, and a resolution of intent for City support of an envisioned Spirit Valley Center for Youth and Community Wellness.

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