County levy to remain flat

Mille Lacs County’s preliminary tax levy for 2013 shows no increase.

County commissioners approved a levy of $14,726,000 at their Sept. 4 meeting.

The breakdown of proposed expenditures includes  $9.4 million for the general fund, $3.3 million for the Community and Veterans Services Department, $921,763 for the road and bridge fund, and $640,000 for debt service on the new justice center.

The proposed levy matches the 2012 levy exactly and is a half percent under the levies for 2010 and 2011.

In 2010 the levy went down 4.98 percent from $14,902,075.

Commissioner Frank Courteau asked County Administrator Roxy Traxler what happened to alleviate a $250,000 shortfall that was talked about a couple weeks earlier at a work session.

Traxler, saying that was only an estimate, said there were two major factors.

The medical insurance premium renewal was less than estimated, as was the renewal of the property/liability insurance premium.

Commissioners also approved a proposed budget for 2013 of $29.94 million.

Traxler said in an interview Monday that there were no significant budget changes from 2012.

Budget amounts show $13.05 million for the general fund, $8.75 million for Community and Veterans Services, and $7.01 million for the road and bridge fund.

A Sept. 10 story in the St. Cloud Times said Stearns and Sherburne counties are considering adopting preliminary levies at the same level as 2012, or slightly less, while Benton County is considering an increase of two percent.

Proposed budgets are $124.8 million in Stearns, $40.4 million in Benton and $72.1 million in Sherburne, a proposed decrease of about $2 million.

The date of Tuesday, Dec. 4, was set for the 6 p.m. public budget and levy meeting that will be part of the regular meeting of the County Board.