Senate File No. 1741 (First Engrossment) requires all counties and cities and towns with a population of more than 2,500, to post budget information on their municipal website; alternative notice provisions are provided for municipalities without a website. Counties and certain cities and towns are required to include four years of budget data on the municipal website. The budget information must be organized by function and expenditure type.
Section 1. All counties and cities and towns with a population of more than 2,500, must provide to the county auditor the municipal website where the public is able to access budget information. This is done in conjunction with submitting the proposed or final property tax levy. Further, the truth in taxation (TNT) notice must include the time and place of the TNT hearing and a statement that budget information is on the municipal website.
Section 2. The notice of proposed property taxes must clearly state for each county, and each city and town with a population of more than 2,500, that the budget information is available on the municipal website.
Section 3. Municipalities, as defined, must report their budgets by expenditure type. This section is a new section of statute. Subdivision 1 states that the purpose of the new section of law is to facilitate involvement of the public in local government budgeting by requiring municipalities to provide specified budget information on a municipal website. The municipality must also publicize that the information is available on the website as part of the TNT hearing notice and the notice of proposed property taxes, as provided in sections 1 and 2.
Subdivision 2. Definitions are provided. A municipality is a county and city or town with a population of more than 2,500. The method for determining population is provided.
Subdivision 3. By September 30 each year, a municipality must publish on its website, four years of budget information on both revenues and expenditures. The information must be organized by function and by expenditure type. The four years must include actual data from the two most recent budget years, estimated data for the current budget year, and projected data for the adopted proposed budget. The municipality must publish the adopted budget on its website within 14 days after its final adoption. The projected data for the proposed budget must include specified information. The specified information must be included. The state auditor’s office must establish forms and reporting requirements based on the stated criteria.
Subdivision 4. A municipality that does not have a website must either set up a website or publish the same information that is required to be placed on the website in one issue of the official newspaper. If a county publishes the information in its official newspaper, it must also publish the information in one other newspaper.
Subdivision 5. Failure of a municipality to provide the information results in the withholding of state-aid road funding, local police and firefighters relief association amortization state aid, local government aid, and county program aid.
The effective date of each section is July 1, 2012.