Council members debating how best to utilize additional state aid.

As Crookston City Council members, Mayor Dave Genereux and other city officials in recent months have tried to nail down a 2014 budget, they've built many of their revenue assumptions on the likelihood of a 3 percent increase in the property tax levy paid by property owners in 2014.

That would have brought in around $50,000 in additional revenue.

That won't be happening now, Finance Director Angel Hoeffner told council members at a council Ways & Means Committee meeting Monday evening at city hall. Since the City of Crookston and other cities throughout the state are in line to receive increased Local Government Aid (LGA) allotments in 2014, the legislature has imposed levy limits.

In other words, the council is required to approve a 2014 budget that includes a local property tax levy unchanged from 2013. That amounts to $1,714,714. Given the fact that a preliminary 2014 budget needs to be approved by the council in September, and knowing that there is no room for negotiation on the levy matter, the committee Monday evening approved next year's preliminary property tax levy.

The City of Crookston is in line for an additional $459,386 in LGA in 2014. It's a 15 percent increase over the 2013 level and will bring the total LGA allocation to Crookston to $3,516,134.

LGA is designed to boost the revenue ledgers of cities across the state that struggle to raise enough local property tax revenue to provide essential services such as police and fire protection.

Read more later this week on the debate among council members and officials over how to utilize the funding.