Board Sets Maximum Levy
The projected total 2020 budget for Olmsted County is $199,132,421. To achieve this, the County Board set the 2020 Maximum levy at a 4.5% increase. This is about a $4.6 million dollar increase over 2019. I supported placing the least tax burden possible on our county residents and after budget discussions I believe this was reached.
Please know that the county continues seek additional efficiencies and budget reductions. I remain hopeful that the final levy will be less than a 4.5% increase. Please remember that the total tax revenue is spread among all the properties in the county. The county has realized considerable growth this year; consequently, after the $4.6 million is divided among all the existing and new county property owners, the amount assessed to every individual property will be less than 4.5%.
The projected $199,132,421 budget is a combination of projected levy income of about $107.8 million, non Levy revenues of about $86.7 million and restricted reserve usages of about $4.5 million.
The Rochester city counsel set the city’s maximum level at a 6.5% increase over 2019.
People who wish to provide comments on the levy can do so during the public comment period at the beginning of every Board meeting and also at the Truth in Taxation meeting on Thursday, December 5, at 7:00 PM.
Working for Improvements
I have participated in the Association of Minnesota Counties. This organization is formed to inform the Minnesota State legislature on issues important to counties and to lobby legislators for state laws or changes to existing state laws that benefit people at the county level. I am pleased that I was able to convince the county representatives at the September meeting to adopt as a priority a legislative goal to increase the homeowner property tax rebates and increase the amount of dollars available to rehabilitate homes for low-income seniors. I will continue to work to promote this much needed improvement.
The County Board approved the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Levy Increase.
In response to the need for low income housing the Board approved the HRA levy which will make available additional funds over 2019 of about $1 million (making the total 2020 budget of about $3.5million). This revenue will reduce the time that it will take to start the process of procuring additional low-income housing. This revenue will also be used for supporting Homeless Prevention, Housing Stability programs and Housing Rehabilitation. Although this will place an addition tax burden on property owners, I supported this HRA levy increase because of the need for additional low-income housing and to address the homeless issues in Olmsted County. This will increase the property taxes of a $250,000 home on average of about $11.42.