St. Paul leaders to vote on budget that would increase property taxes, end library fees

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St. Paul City Council members will vote Wednesday on a budget that could mean big changes for property owners and library cardholders. 

The new budget means homeowners in St. Paul will see a 10.5 percent increase in property taxes. The budget also adds nine positions to the police department—mostly investigators—despite opposition from some community groups that do not want more officers on the street.

Also included in the budget: no more late fees at St. Paul public libraries. 

Since 2009, 51,000 people have had their library cards suspended. In some cases, cards have been suspended for as little as $10 in late fees.

Mayor Melvin Carter said library staff spends 10 percent of their time trying to collect fees and doing it at a loss. He said the city is spending $250,000 dollars a year to collect about $215,000 in late fees.   

City Council will vote on the budget at 3:30 p.m.