Tax concerns voiced at Marshall hearing

MARSHALL — The Marshall City Council held a hearing looking for feedback on the city’s proposed 2018 levy, but the only comments it received were on an issue that couldn’t be resolved that night.

Members of the Marshall Cemetery Association attended a Tuesday hearing on the municipal levy and budget with concerns about the amount of property taxes the association was paying for land surrounding the Marshall cemetery. But the problem, as Cemetery Association members described it, had more to do with how the property was being assessed.

At the hearing, Marshall city finance director Karla Drown presented Marshall’s preliminary levy and budget figures for 2018. The proposed 2018 levy is about $6.449 million. That amount would be an increase of 5 percent, or about $307,000, from the 2017 levy.

The city council plans to finalize a budget and levy in December.

There weren’t many comments from members of the public at the hearing. However, members of the Cemetery Association voiced their concern about the taxes on property near the cemetery that is rented out as agricultural land. Association member Lyle Moseng said that land is supposed to help generate revenue for upkeep of the cemetery, but more than 90 percent of the revenue was going to taxes.

The land being rented out was being assessed as if it were a residential or apartment property, like neighboring properties in the area, Cemetery Association members said.

“We’re not saying we shouldn’t pay taxes,” Moseng said. However, the high amount was a concern.