County approves 3% increase in preliminary levy

The Hubbard County Board approved a preliminary payable 2021 levy of $15,920,000 at their Sept. 15 meeting.

That’s an $470,000, or 3 percent, increase over the 2020 final levy of $15,450,00.

The truth in taxation meeting, where the board will set the final levy, will be held at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1 in the Hubbard County Government Center.

“We’ll know a lot more in about 35 days, once we get past our second-half tax collection phase,” County Coordinator Eric Nerness said.

Board chair Char Christenson said she’s spoken to several business owners “that are saying it’s the best year they’ve ever had. I can’t believe how people are spending money. It is crazy.”


Nerness pointed out that the preliminary levy has been a 5.9 percent increase for the past several years. “With the work we did in budget reduction early in the year and the work that department heads have done, knowing that we have to be even more vigilant in our stewardship of residents’ money, we’ve got a good start here,” he said.

County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Rave said construction is ongoing throughout the county, which will increase the tax capacity and keep tax rates low. She recommended a 3 percent increase for the preliminary levy.

The motion to set the preliminary levy passed unanimously.

The 2021 budget anticipates $39,372,434 in total revenue, with $42,861,376 in total expenditures. General fund revenue comprises $15,448,145 of the proposed budget, with expenses of $15,331,028. Road and bridge fund revenue is estimated at $11,052,700 with $12,487,841 in expenditures. Next year’s revenue for Social Services is calculated at $7,017,054, with $8,897,879 in expenses. The Solid Waste fund projects $4,027,115 in revenues and $4,242,181 in expenses. Tax-forfeited land revenue is estimated at $1,827,420, with $1,902,447 in expenditures.

The board reduced the preliminary Housing & Redevelopment Authority levy from $170,000 to $140,000.

Christenson made the motion to lower the levy. “I talked to former commissioners. The whole goal at the time the HRA levy was developed was to assist with housing needs in Hubbard County, but for them to become self-sustaining. Currently, they have moved great in that direction.”

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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