Contact: Dana Frey, St. Louis County (218) 726-2448
ST. LOUIS COUNTY BOARD FINALIZES 2008 BUDGET
On Tuesday, December 11, 2007, the St. Louis County Board passed their final 2008 annual budget. St. Louis County’s property tax levy increase was set at 4.27%, which is lower than 75 of 87 Minnesota counties. The average for all Minnesota counties is 7.26%, and 17 counties in the state reported double-digit increases. The proposed levy increase is lower than in the past two years. Because the county's tax base is growing faster than the levy, the tax rate will again drop.
St. Louis County is continuing to use the best business tools in managing our programs and services. The county recently debuted its Online Performance Data Gallery, which highlights ongoing performance data and information for programs in every department. The Online Performance Data Gallery, available at www.stlouiscounty.org/performance , was funded in part through a Government Trailblazer Grant Award from the National Center for Civic Innovation, which recognized St. Louis County’s efforts to communicate with the public and incorporate the citizen perspective in our communication and program planning activities.
St. Louis County Departments also completed their first Business Plans as part of the 2008 budget cycle. The Business Plans detail their plans and budget changes for the next 3 - 5 years and will be updated on an ongoing basis. The Business Plans align department programs, goals, and resources, with the priority areas established by the St. Louis County Board earlier this year.
The 2008 St. Louis County operating budget is $334,432,528, which allows the county to carry out high quality yet efficient services to citizens in the areas of planning and zoning, land management, solid waste, public works, public health, human services, criminal justice, economic development and general government services. The county is proposing to levy $101,568,092 for 2008 in county property tax dollars for these services.
Because over half of the proposed property tax increase is picked up by new construction, owners of existing property will see an average increase of only 1.9% in the county portion of their property taxes. (Those whose market values have risen will see larger increases, but this does not add to the county’s funds, merely re-apportions the monies amongst property owners.)
For more information about St. Louis County’s proposed 2008 budget, services, business plans or performance measures, please visit: www.stlouiscounty.gov/budget or www.stlouiscounty.gov/performance or call 218-726-2450.