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Boreal Community Media

County Board of Commissioners Sets 2019 Levy at 5.99%

Dec 12, 2018 12:09PM ● By Editor

December 12, 2018 – At Tuesday’s Board of Commissioner’s Meeting, the Board voted three to two to approve the 2019 County Budget as presented at the Truth in Taxation Meeting, passing a levy of $9,790,211 equaling – a 5.9 percent levy increase from 2018. Commissioners Bobby Deschampe and Heidi Doo-Kirk voting against.

Before the levy was set, the Board explored a motion proposed by Commissioner Deschampe to set the levy at 2.99 percent by using $170,000 from Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding from the federal government and $103,000 in reserves from the County's General Fund. Commissioner Doo-Kirk seconded the motion, citing an intent to open the 2.99 percent increase to further discussion. Ultimately, the Board did not support the 2.99 percent increase. That motion failed by a vote of 4-1, with only Deschampe voting in support. Had the motion passed, a taxpayer in Cook County who owns a $180,000 home would have saved about $29 in comparison to the 5.99 percent increase.  Tax impact of the 5.99% increase will be $27/$100,000 value for residential homestead properties.

Cook County residents began receiving their proposed 2019 tax statements toward the middle of November. The Truth in Taxation Meeting was held Nov 29. The proposed preliminary 5.99 percent levy increase for Cook County, was set in September which is what was approved Tuesday. 

In addition, the Economic Development Authority Budget was also approved as presented with a 5 percent increase – or $15,000 over last year.

The 5.99 percent increases in the levy represent: an increase of $553,460.

  • Employment contracts call for a 2.5% increase which equates to approximately $200,000
  • Addition of two staff positions, a half time assistant at the Community Center and a second technician in MIS to be added later in 2019.  Hours adjustments for several positions including Sheriff’s Office and Human Resources - approximately $60,000
  • Capital planning for buildings and equipment $200,000
  • Balance of $100,000 is comprised of general inflation, software licensing and changes in program reimbursements for human service programs.

Cook County thanks the members of the Budget Committee for their input and work on the Budget and proposed levy over the last many months, helping the Board to make difficult decisions and planning for Cook County.

Commissioner Meetings are streamed live, as well as full meeting footage is available online at http://co.cook.mn.us

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 Contact:  Jeff Cadwell, County Administrator, 218-387-3687 or [email protected]

 

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