Award Winning Financial Excellence
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.
What does a 0% tax levy increase mean?
What are some of the opportunities and challenges 2016 will bring?
- 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.
- 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 2017 budget will soon begin. Citizens are invited to give their input on the budget at any County Board meeting, or by contacting commissioners directly.
TBD in 2016: Public Meeting in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Virginia, 7 p.m.
TBD in 2016: Public Meeting in the St. Louis County Courthouse in Duluth, 7 p.m.
TBD in 2016: Commissioners will approve the 2017 budget at their Board Meeting, 9:30 a.m.