The New Ulm City Council approved an $8.28 million preliminary tax levy for 2021, Tuesday. This levy is approximately 4.97% up from last year’s levy. The council was presented with four different budget scenarios. The council unanimously favored the scenario where the positions would be funded for three-quarters of the year. In this scenario, the city would wait three months before hiring. With this scenario, the 2021 tax levy would increase by 4.97%.The preliminary budget sets the maximum tax levy for next year. The levy can be lowered before the end of the year, but cannot be increased. A public hearing date before the final the tax levy is approved was set for 6 p.m. Dec. 1, with a follow-up hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 8, if needed. The council approved purchasing $47,291.60 in equipment for the New Ulm Police Department. The equipment includes first responder kits with gas masks for 23 officers, civil disturbance riot scene kits for 23 officers and 12 tasers with accessories. According to the written request, the need was related to anticipated social unrest connected to upcoming November elections and court hearings of officers criminally charged with violent crimes. The lifespan of the new equipment is estimated at 25 years. The motion was unanimously approved.