St. Louis County Board Approves 2018 Property Tax Levy

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Louis County commissioners have unanimously approved the 2018 property tax levy at $132.2 million.

The levy, or revenue collected from property taxes, makes up about one-third of the St. Louis County budget.

The levy is a 4.45 percent increase from 2017, nearly all of which will be offset by the estimated 3.95 percent growth in property tax base, according to St. Louis County Board.

The estimated impact is just 0.5 percent, potentially even less. For owners of a $150,000 home, the increase would be $0.84 per year on the county portion of their property taxes.

“The budgeting process is an ongoing process. And that’s what good government does,” said Commissioner Keith Nelson, chair of the Board’s Finance Committee. “This levy is respectful of those people who are supporting this levy with their hard earned money. As we look at the impact of this proposed increase, it is truly minimal. This is what we need to operate St. Louis County.”

Factors in the 2018 levy are the following priorities:

  • Maintain the current level of services in core areas of Public Health and Human Services, Public Safety, Public Works and other taxpayer services.
  • Direct additional resources to address substance abuse and mental health issues. This includes supporting innovative opioid treatment programs and partnerships, expanding Mental Health Court across the county, and the embedded social worker within the Duluth Police Department.
  • Address critical infrastructure needs to better serve residents and preserve county history.
  • Make additional investments to support families providing foster care; and offset state funding cuts impacting our vulnerable adults.
  • Support targeted investments in programs serving youth, including Camp Esquagama, and expanded 4-H and Youth in Action programs.
  • Further stabilize the county’s health insurance fund while absorbing negotiated employee pay increases.
  • Maintain strong financial practices and AA+ bond rating

By law, Minnesota counties must set their maximum preliminary levy by the end of September. The 2018 budget is still being finalized, meaning the levy could potentially be reduced, but it cannot increase.

Commissioners are set to vote on the final budget on Dec. 19.

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