Award Winning Financial Excellence
Work on the 2017 budget is nearing completion. The County Board approved a preliminary maximum levy of $126,550,079 (an 8.5% increase over last year) in September and is scheduled to adopt the budget at its County Board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 20 in Duluth at the St. Louis County Courthouse. The increase reflects the need to make investments in children and family services, strengthen the County's health insurance fund, support unfunded state mandates, and make up for the unsigned tax bill that had contained over $3 million in funding support for St. Louis County.
Due to the County's growing property tax base, most people will see little change in their property taxes (on the County line) compared to two years ago. St. Louis County's property tax base has increased 8.0 percent in the last two years. That means, for a person who's property value has remained the same, the County portion of their property taxes will increase only slightly compared to two years ago. For instance, a home valued at $200,000 will see an increase of $1.09 for 2017 compared to 2015.
The levy – revenue collected from property taxes – makes up about one third of the St. Louis County budget. Each year, in establishing a preliminary levy, the Board must find balance between its goals for the services it wishes to provide, and the tax impact on citizens based on the cost of providing those services.
Citizens are invited to give their input on the budget at any County Board meeting, or by contacting commissioners directly.
Key dates to know
December 1, 2016: Public Meeting in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Virginia, 7 p.m.
December 8, 2016: Public Meeting in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth, 7 p.m.
December 20, 2016: Commissioners will approve the 2017 budget at their Board Meeting in Duluth, 9:30 a.m.
This graphic shows that thanks to the 8.0% growth in the county's property tax base over the last two years, an 8.5% levy increase will have minimal impact on property taxpayers. In fact, for a home valued at $200,000, the county portion of property taxes would increase only $1.09 compared to 2015.
The 2016 Budget
The St. Louis County Board approved its 2016 budget in the amount of $358,733,410 with a 0% levy increase. The levy, totaling $116,631,193, represents the portion of the County’s budget that comes from property taxes, and makes up about a third of the annual budget.
The operating budget allows the County to fulfill its mission of delivering high quality, yet efficient, services to citizens in the areas of public works, health and human services, criminal justice, community development, planning and zoning, land and minerals management, solid waste and recycling, and general government services.
Through the budget process, the County Board and management staff annually reexamine the services provided within the County. It is a lengthy and comprehensive process that begins early each year.