The month of December overflows with annual events. From Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanzaa to Pearl Harbor Day, the month’s calender is littered with important dates. One such date is extremely important for virtually everyone, yet it isn’t heavily participated in, even though its “traditions” are greatly talked about and scrutinized — Truth in Taxation meetings.

Based on state statute, every governing body that imposes tax levies upon its constituents must hold a public meeting prior to formally approving its upcoming year’s budget. During this meeting, the government body’s projected budget for the upcoming year is presented, along with what the general financial impact said budget will have on residents. The meeting also must allow for a public comment period where residents can ask questions or provide feedback based on the given information.

In general, a government body’s levy is the total amount of money that it will require property owners to pay in order for the government body to provide services for that year. How much money each property owner pays depends on a number of factors such as if the property is commercial or residential, how many properties will be paying for said levy, and the value of each property — which is determined by the county assessors office each year.

That final piece of the puzzle is an item that is most misunderstood regarding the Truth in Taxation meetings. Each government body has no control over what each property is valued at, and the Truth in Taxation meeting isn’t the place where that value can be disputed. For that, there are meetings held in April or May.

For those who would like to know why a government body is spending “x” amount of dollars on things such as law enforcement, infrastructure projects or even debt, the Truth in Taxation meeting is the place to be.

Below is a listing of dates, times and locations of the upcoming Truth in Taxation meetings:

City of North Branch – Monday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Isanti County – Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. at the Isanti County Government Center.

Chisago County – Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chisago County Government Center.

Cambridge-Isanti Schools – Thursday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at the District Office.

City of Cambridge  – Thursday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

City of Isanti – Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. (as part of the regular council meeting) at City Hall.

City of Braham – Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

North Branch Schools Thursday, Dec. 9 as part of the regular school board meeting. The regular meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the Truth in Taxation meeting taking place no earlier than 6 p.m. in Room C120 in the North Branch Area Education Center.

Braham Schools – Monday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. in Room B100 of the high school.

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