Becker County sets 3.5% levy hike for next year

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This is the largest increase since 2018, when a 3.6% increase was approved.

The increase approved last year was 2.7%. In 2020 it was 2.9%, and in 2019 it was 3.3%.

From 2013 to 2017, the increase was less than 3% each year, in some cases much lower. In 2014, the levy actually saw a small decrease.

Commissioner Ben Grimsley opposed the initial increase in levies of almost 4%.

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“I want to bring it down,” he said at the meeting. “I don’t think the levy has ever increased so much (during his tenure on the board). We must live within our means.

He said he preferred a levy increase closer to 3%, and then supported Commissioner Larry Knutson’s motion to set the increase at 3.5%.

The board had to find approximately $ 100,000 in budget savings to reduce the proposed increase from 3.9% to 3.5%. He accomplished this by cutting a recreation fund of $ 74,000, as well as $ 30,000 from the social services fund. (Human Services Director Denise Warren was able to figure out a way to replace that $ 30,000 without using county taxes.)

The county tax hike will bring in approximately $ 800,000 in new revenue. The global tax will bring in more than $ 23 million.

On the budget side, the overall health and social services fund has been increased by approximately $ 171,000, or 2.4%.

The public safety fund increased by $ 350,000, or 4.3%, and the income fund increased by $ 437,000, or 12.8%.

At the same meeting, the Becker County Economic Development Authority of $ 124,350 was approved for 2022, unchanged from this year.

The approval of the Becker Soil and Water Conservation District budget, which includes county funding, has been a bit choppy. The county ended up withdrawing its annual $ 8,712 from an aquatic invasive species coordinator in the district office, as state funding increased to cover the loss.

The county will still provide more than $ 670,000 of the district’s $ 1.8 million in total revenue. The rest will come from the state (which will provide $ 632,000), the federal government ($ 100,000) and local governments ($ 325,000) and the service charge will bring in the final $ 100,000.

On the expenditure side, the total expenditure on county projects is $ 331,000, with a total of about $ 360,000 going to local, state and district projects.

Becker County’s final tax levy and budget will be set in a public hearing at 6 p.m. on December 9.


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