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Brownton City Council votes to keep 2015 levy at 2014 rate

The Brownton City Council will not raise its property tax levy in 2015.
The City Council met in special session Sept. 23 to consider its preliminary 2015 budget and levy, and felt it had enough on hand to cover a double-digit health insurance premium increase, an additional amount for storm sewer work, and adding to the fire department’s capital expenditure fund to plan for a new fire truck.
City Clerk Ella Kruse told the Council that the League of Minnesota Cities was warning municipalities that health insurance premiums could rise as much as 26 percent because of the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and is expecting an average of 15 to 18 percent increases.
Kruse said the city’s policy renews in June, and it already absorbed a 15 percent increase in the middle of 2014. She suggested budgeting for an 18 percent increase, which would cost the city about $3,700 more than it is paying now for health insurance.
Kruse said the City Council could look at its health insurance plan again in June 2015, and decide if it would like to raise deductibles.
“Another option would be to allow employees to contribute to an HSA (health savings account),” Kruse said.

For more, see the Oct. 1 print edition of The McLeod County Chronicle.