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Proposed county budget could mean lower taxes

A recommended 2013 Dakota County budget could mean lower property taxes.

Dakota County Financial Services Director Matt Smith presented the proposed budget at the regular meeting of the Dakota County Board of Commissioners this week.

The recommended budget is $292,075,603 and funds the equivalent of 1,726.24 full-time positions.

The commissioners will hold budget meetings this week, with final adoption of the budget in December.

According to Smith, the recommended budget comes from a rather stable base of spending and revenues after two years of reductions.

In response to lower revenues, the budgets for 2010 and 2011 reduced operating spending by a total of $25.4 million and eliminated 104 FTE potions.

Reductions were prioritized rather than applied across the board to support the highest-valued programs and services.

The 2012 adopted budget carried prior resource changes forward and reflected an additional 1 percent increase in operating spending and no increase in the county tax levy from the prior year.

In September the commissioners unanimously passed a resolution authorizing a levy decrease of.20 percent for its 2013 property tax levy. Commissioners voted unanimously for the decrease.

Due to the levy reduction and other changes in the tax base, the owner of a median valued home will see, on average, a 5 percent decrease in the county portion of their property tax bill next year.

The commissioners are scheduled to hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 on the recommended budget.