2020 Tax Levy and Budget Summary
On December 17, 2019 City Council adopted a levy of $17,529,684 for 2020, which is a 9.71 percent increase from 2019. The levy provides for the continuation of outstanding customer service by City workers, exceptional police and fire protection and helps maintain a vibrant, authentic downtown.
City property taxes for a median value home ($276,000) in Hopkins are estimated to be $1,823. This represents an $88 or 5.1 percent increase compared to a median value home in 2019.
The two largest areas supported by the levy are public safety, and capital projects and debt. This is a breakdown of estimated City property taxes:
|Area supported by levy||Dollar amount||Percentage|
|Parks and Recreation||$172||9.4%|
|Hopkins Center for the Arts||$34||1.9%|
|Capital Projects and Debt||$461||25.3%|
Public Safety is comprised of the police, fire and inspection departments. In total, they make up 35.4 percent of the levy.
Hopkins Police Department
The Hopkins Police Department’s mission is to serve the community with Honesty, Integrity and Respect. They accomplish this through community engagement, relationship building and providing education and youth initiatives. They also responded to over 26,000 calls for service in 2018. They work diligently to prevent and deter crime.
Hopkins Fire Department
The Hopkins Fire Department makes a positive difference everyday by providing quality fire response, prevention services, emergency medical, hazardous materials handling and emergency preparedness. In 2018, they responded to over 1,500 calls, which is more than an 8 percent increase over the previous year. Their average response time is 4.2 minutes.
The Inspections Department is the smallest department within public safety. Their budget is mostly funded through charges for service. The 2020 budget includes revenues of $572,700 and expenditures of $863,296. The Inspections Department is 1.3 percent of the tax levy.
Capital Projects and Debt
Capital projects and debt is the next largest portion of the levy making up 25.3 percent. It supports street reconstruction, capital projects at municipal buildings, equipment purchases and the Burnes Park improvement project.
Street and Utility Improvement Project
The City is completing an aggressive street reconstruction plan paid for through bond issuance, special assessments, and user charges for water, sewer and storm-sewer. All streets in Hopkins are planned to be reconstructed in the next 10 to 12 years. Continuing this program ensures the future preservation of our streets and helps maintain the quality of life Hopkins residents have come to expect.
In order to fully realize the benefits of Southwest Light Rail, the City invested in 8th Avenue and created the Artery. The Artery is a bike, pedestrian and vehicle connection and community space between a future light rail transit station and the City’s historic downtown. The $5.7 million project leveraged $2.6 million of grants from Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County and Three Rivers Park District.
The City has also invested in the Blake Road Corridor. The City is adding several pedestrian friendly amenities including multi-use trails, landscaped boulevards and upgraded street lighting. The road will also be upgraded to handle future traffic and development demands. The $16 million project will receive reimbursements from Hennepin County ($8 million) and utilize Municipal State Aid of ($3 million).
The City’s share of the Artery project and Blake Road reconstruction were funded with debt. They also took advantage of limited outside funding sources in order to make needed improvements. Delaying the projects would likely result in higher costs and a larger City-share of the overall cost.
Hopkins Center for the Arts
The Hopkins Center for the Arts levy being proposed is $325,255 or 1.9 percent of the total levy. Currently, the Arts Center has a deficit balance of $1.2 million owed to the City’s General Fund that has accrued since its opening in 1997. This levy includes $60,000 to pay back the general fund. The remaining levy amount of $265,225 is needed to maintain current operations.
The City believes that the Arts Center was an excellent economic development tool that helped make Mainstreet vibrant and authentic. With this levy, the Arts Center will continue to be an asset to the Community.
The Pavilion levy being proposed is $290,000 or 1.6 percent of the levy. In 2018, the Pavilion was upgraded and expanded. The City needed to complete a project to replace a 27-year old refrigeration system that was unreliable, developing leaks and being phased out by the EPA.
The City was able to increase the scope of the project to include remodeled locker rooms, shower rooms, expanded lobby, remodeled office, remodeled concession stand and expanded restroom facilities after receiving contributions from the Hopkins School District ($1 million) and the Hopkins Youth Hockey Association ($1 million). The project still required bond proceeds of $3.1 million to complete. The debt service for the bonds will be paid with a Pavilion levy over the next 15 years.