GOVERNMENTFinance- Budget & AccountingOperating Budget   

Operating Budget 


Award Winning Financial Excellence

The St. Louis County Board adopted the preliminary maximum levy for 2016 at its Board Meeting September 22, 2015. Commissioners unanimously approved a levy of $116,631,195—a 0% increase over 2015. The levy represents the portion of the County’s budget that comes from property taxes, and typically makes up about a third of the annual budget. 

What does a 0% tax levy increase mean?

  • The majority of St. Louis County citizens will see a reduction in taxes for 2016, due to the growth in the county’s economy, including new commercial, industrial and residential construction.
  • County Commissioners and the County Administrator have the opportunity to show their sensitivity to the economic conditions for residents affected by the mining industry.
  • County leaders are able to provide some cost relief to its constituents—especially considering the implementation of the Transportation Sales Tax in 2015. 
  • St. Louis County honors its commitment that Transportation Sales Tax funds will be dedicated to roads and bridges; they will NOT be used to offset the levy.

What are some of the opportunities and challenges 2016 will bring?

  • St. Louis County will continue to strive to do things better and will engage citizens in a comprehensive survey in spring 2016. 
  • Many capital improvement projects are scheduled for 2016, including a cold storage building for the South Rescue Squad. 
  • Rising healthcare costs, jail overcrowding, high demand for foster care, ongoing capital improvement needs and the uncertainty of the mining industry are some of the major challenges St. Louis County faces going into 2016. 
  • St. Louis County is well-positioned despite budget pressures, has experienced growth in its property tax base, funding support (including state and federal revenue streams) is stable, Transportation Sales Tax funds accelerate road and bridge projects, and multi-year budget planning enables the county to better weather natural fluctuations in expense and revenue categories.

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.

Key dates to know

Work on the 2016 budget is ongoing. Citizens are invited to give their input on the budget at any County Board meeting, or by contacting commissioners directly. 

December 3: Public Meeting in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Virginia, 7 p.m. 

December 10:
Public Meeting in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth, 7 p.m.

December 15: Commissioners will approve the 2016 budget at their Board Meeting, 9:30 a.m. 


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