MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — St. Paul residents could be facing a significant property tax increase next year. On Monday night, the St. Paul School Board proposed an increase of 3.1%.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is asking for a 6.9% hike and Ramsey County wants an increase of 1.5%.

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The Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood near Mounds Park on St. Paul’s east side has seen property values soar more than 16%. That’s good news for homeowners, at least until word of the potential property tax hike.

“I would like to see the quality of life improved if we are paying higher taxes,” resident Katie Pogniolo said.

Other St. Paul taxpayers have a stronger reaction.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Marybeth Heying said. “Have you driven on the streets recently in St Paul? Bring back the fireworks. Do something for us.”

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The proposed increase could mean as much as $430 increase on a $250,000 home. Property taxes make up 22% of St. Paul Public Schools’ budget. Superintendent Joe Gothard told school board members the hike is needed.

“We are trying to provide as much stability as we can in terms of the needs of the district moving forward, and in these uncertain times,” Gothard said.

Forty million dollars of the mayor’s proposed tax hike would go to housing needs. Another $40 million would fund public safety and an alternative to police responses.

Increase proposals are not final; they would still have go through a number of steps, including the St. Paul City Council and the school board. But even if the increase gets cut back a bit, which it might, it would still mean St. Paul taxpayers would be paying more.

The St. Paul School Board is scheduled to vote on the proposed increase the first week in December.

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Esme Murphy