October 10, 2008 CONTACT: Linnea Mirsch, Deputy Administrator
St. Louis County Courthouse
For Immediate Release Duluth, MN (218-726-2450)
Citizens Paying October Property Tax Bills Greeted with
New Gallery Exhibit on County Performance
The second payment of 2008 property taxes is due on October 15, 2008. Citizens choosing to pay this portion in the Duluth County Courthouse will have an opportunity to view various displays highlighting County performance in key areas.
This exhibit aims to answer the timely question, “Where do my property tax dollars go?” by showing examples of the services provided and the outcomes achieved. The new display is part of the County’s efforts to integrate performance measurement as a key strategy for managing the difficult budget years ahead and ensuring quality government for its citizens. The displays are oriented around the County Board’s “Priority Areas” established during the 2007 budget planning process: Efficient, Effective Government; Health and Well-Being of County Citizens; Healthy Viable Ecosystem; Strong County Infrastructure; and Healthy Local Economy.
From its earliest settlements to today’s thriving communities, St. Louis County has seen constantly changing demands placed on local government. These demands will continue in the future, requiring greater accountability and efficiency. According to Finance and Budget Chair Commissioner Keith Nelson, “With decreasing state and federal funds and increasing operating and personnel costs, we will have an even greater need to focus on our management strategies to see us through these challenging times.”
In 2006, in conjunction with its 150th anniversary, St. Louis County published its first performance management report, the “Sesquicentennial Evaluation Report Card.” Building on this report, an Internet-based method has been chosen to help link citizens to additional information, contacts, and graphs allowing frequent and regular updates.
In 2007, St. Louis County was selected as a “Government Trailblazer” by the National Center for Civic Innovation for its efforts in budgeting best practices and performance measurement and management. This grant award funded the County’s efforts to engage the public in learning how St. Louis County is doing in reporting and improving its communication of this information.
The “Online Performance Data Gallery”, www.stlouiscounty.org/performance and the new walk-through performance gallery, in the Duluth Courthouse, are products of this grant. The display will be expanded to other Courthouse locations in Hibbing and Virginia later this fall.
During this tax paying season, we hope citizens will take the time to look at the quality of County services paid for with their property tax dollar.
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