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County share of tax bill will get smaller

For years, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners had prided itself on keeping its property taxes among the lowest in the state.

At its regular meeting this week, it continued that practice when it adopted its 2014 budget and tax levy.

Commissioners adopted a budget of $332,826,122, while setting a tax levy of $126,506,313, a .5 percent decrease from the 2013 levy. The tax impact of the 2014 levy on a median-valued home is about a 2 percent decrease.

The process of establishing a budget and levy for 2014 has covered much of 2013.

Major highlights of the 2014 budget include: $645,760 decrease in the property tax levy; increase in state aids and federal reimbursements; estimated county savings of $841,000 for sales tax exemption; maintenance of Dakota County property taxes among the lowest in the state.

Several changes have been made to the recommended budget since Nov. 5 when administrator Brandt Richardson presented his budget to the board. The effect of the changes is a $75,309 increases in total expenditures with no change in the recommended levy.

Strategic priorities

As part of setting priorities for the coming year, commissioners set strategic priorities for the year. The priorities include: a great place to live; a clean, green place; thriving people, good for people; and county government that leads the way.