County board expected to increase levy by 3 percent

Published 7:30 am Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mower County residents will have their chance to voice their opinions about the county’s 2011 budget and levy.

The county board is set to host its truth in taxation meeting in the county board room Thursday at 6 p.m. The board will discuss an expected levy increase of about 3 percent.

The levy increase was brought down to 3 percent as the public urged for lower taxes.

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“Right now, nobody wants taxes any higher than they are,” said Chairman Ray Tucker.

In September, the board set the county’s maximum budget levy increase at 4.5 percent. According to Finance Director Donna Welsh, a 3 percent increase would raise the total levy to a little more than $15.5 million.

Along with the 3 percent increase, Tucker said the board worked to decrease all departments by about 10 percent. However, that change wasn’t even across the board.

Tucker said there aren’t many more cuts the county can make now. He said the next place to cut would likely be staff.

“It’s at the point where it could be bodies next,” Tucker said.

The board can still altar the 3 percent increase after Thursday’s meeting, though the levy increase cannot exceed 4.5 percent.

With a 4.5 percent levy increase, the levy would near $15.8 million. The 2010 levy was about $15.1 million.

Other news

The county board will hold their weekly meeting on Thursday this week at 1 p.m. in the county board room. The meeting was moved from its typical Tuesday schedule this week because some of the commissioners are attending the Association of Minnesota Counties Conference.

One item to come before the board will be a conditional use permit for a commercial hunting preserve in LeRoy Township.