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Hubbard County approves salary increases and final levy

Noting that the county sheriff and attorney are getting 7% salary increases next year, county commissioner Tom Krueger said he’d like commissioners to receive the same percentage.

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Hubbard County officially set its payable 2023 property tax levy at $19,100,000, a 19% increase.

Ten percent of the levy increase – roughly $1.6 million – is a capture of new construction tax capacity from Enbridge’s Line 3 project. The county will set this aside for future capital improvements and economic development.

“We’ve discussed that about $600,000 of that future capital is defraying costs in the 2023 budget. Approximately $500,000 is allocated toward economic development projects in 2023, and about $500,000 is designated for future use,” explained County Administrator Jeff Cadwell.

The levy is a $3.1 million increase compared to 2022’s $16,050,000 final levy.

HubbardCounty2023FinalLevy.jpg
The county’s 2023 budget estimates revenues of $30,086,878 and expenditures of $54,895,860. The levy will add another $19,100,000 to the coffers, for total revenues of $49,186,878.
Chart by Hubbard County

The board set the Hubbard County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) levy at $120,000, the same as last year.

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The property tax levy for the Headwaters Regional Development Commission is $132,825, a 3.85% increase.

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A breakdown of Hubbard County's payable 2023 property tax levy.
Chart by Hubbard County

The county’s 2023 budget estimates revenues of $49,186,878 (which includes the levy) and expenditures of $54,895,860. The county also anticipates using existing fund balances of $5,708,982.

Cadwell noted that the wage compensation budget is “significant” in 2023 “because we not only had the 3% cost-of-living (COLA) increase, but we also had the adjustment to the classification system.”

In November, the county boosted its wage scale for its employees in order to remain competitive in the job market.

7% raise for sheriff, attorney, commissioners

Noting that the county sheriff and attorney are getting 7% salary increases next year, county commissioner Tom Krueger said he’d like commissioners to receive the same percentage.

The budget called for county commissioners’ salaries in 2023 to increase from $25,760 to $26,533, a 3% increase.

Cadwell said the sheriff and attorney received a bump from the classification increase, along with the 3% COLA.

Krueger argued a better salary for commissioners might encourage more people to run for the office.

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His motion to raise the commissioner’s salary by 7% – or to $27,595 – passed unanimously.

The final levy and budget were approved by the Hubbard County Board at their Dec. 20 meeting. County commissioner Dan Stacey was absent.

In related business, the board did the following:

  • Increased the county sheriff’s salary from $115,325 to $123,402, a 7% increase.
  • Increased the county attorney’s salary from $118,785 to $127,026, a 6.94% increase. 
  • Set the Hubbard County Extension Office budget at $164,185, a $3,677 increase from last year. 
  • Set commissioners’ per diem at $90, unchanged from last year.
  • Set the per diems for service on county boards, committees or commissions at $50 per half day and $75 per full day. This is unchanged from last year.
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Similar legislation is pending in the Senate and also has the backing of Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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