News Flash

Wright County News

Posted on: December 23, 2020

County Moving into 2021 with New Approach to Setting Budget, Levy

At its Dec. 15 meeting, the Wright County Board of Commissioners adopted its 2021 budget and certified levy (the portion of the budget that is paid in property taxes).

The budget for 2021 will be $153,827,273 – $8.2 million less than last year – but the primary reason for that is highway projects that were funded for 2020 that didn’t leave as much of a funding allocation for 2021. The Road & Bridge budget dropped by slightly under $9.6 million – more than enough to cover the underage from 2020.

The budget breakdown is done in five primary categories – General Fund, Road and Bridge, Human Services, Debt Service and Capital Projects. There is a line item for Lake Improvement Districts that is included as line items in both the budget and levy, but those funds are paid back directly from those living in the LIDs.

These are the 2021 dollar numbers for the components that made up the 2021 Wright County budget with the 2020 figures for those same areas in parentheses:

GENERAL FUND – 77,200,997 (74,462,446)

ROAD AND BRIDGE – 30,369,261 (39,960,223)

HUMAN SERVICES – 30,960,799 (30,334,292)

DEBT SERVICE – 12,045,354 (12,142,901)

CAPITAL PROJECTS – 3,118, 937 (5,014,998)

LID’S – 132,035 (129,525)

TOTAL – 153,827,373 (162,044,385)

As it pertains to the levy, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has taken on a modeling program to capture the new growth in Wright County. The 2021 levy is an increase of 5 percent over 2020, but the tax capacity growth was 6.99 percent, which, for many property owners led to a minimal property tax increase from the previous year.

“It has been the goal of this county board to avoid the type of problem we ran into in 2018,” Commissioner Darek Vetsch said. “Due to a number of factors that took place years earlier and a valuation decrease of the Monticello Nuclear Plant that we didn’t see coming until the state made the change, the levy jumped more than 17 percent. It was a hard pill swallow, but it got us to a point where we could start using budget modeling more effectively to try to match any increases in our future levies to try to equal that of the growth in the county. With growth comes more demand for service that the county has to address.”

The certified levy for 2021 is $82,381,407 – an increase of $4.1 million from 2020. The levy figure also includes reducing the amount by the amount of County Program Aid that comes from the State of Minnesota. These are the totals from the five components to come up with the levy share of the county budget – with 2020 figures listed in parentheses:

GENERAL FUND – 53,599,914 (49,135,148)

ROAD AND BRIDGE – 9,313,610 (9,358,916)

HUMAN SERVICES – 13,262,442 (11,864,351)

CAPITAL PROJECTS – 2,768,937 (4,314,998)

SUB-TOTAL – 78,944, 903 (74,673,413)

LESS COUNTY PROGRAM AID – 6,495,650 (6,250,127)

NET TAXABLE LEVY – 72,449,253 (68,423,286)

DEBT SERVICE – 9,932,154 (10,029,701)

CERTIFIED TAXABLE LEVY (without LIDs) – 82,381,407 (78,452,987)

Commissioner Mike Potter said one of the keys to keeping property taxes stable is establishing a tax rate that can be consistent and low, adding that increases in property taxes aren’t simply the result of the county raising taxes.

“If you look at most property tax statements, because of the new growth, if the value of your property didn’t increase in 2020, you’re going to be paying about the same taxes to the county that you paid the previous year,” Potter said. “People see their property tax statements and just assume it’s the county’s fault if their taxes go up. There are also city taxes and school district taxes that get factored in. Ever since we had to swallow hard in 2018 for the big tax increase, we’ve worked off models that try to capture new growth, keep our tax rate as flat as possible and avoid the kind of spike this county board got stuck with a couple years back.”

 The anticipation is that, as the county finds ways to streamline its operation to create more efficiencies, the days of double-digit tax increases witnessed in 2018 will be a thing of the past and harnessing the continued growth of the county will help keep budgets and levies steady, consistent and increases low.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Wright County News

Wright County Has Job Openings

Posted on: July 23, 2021

WCEDP Has Redesigned Website

Posted on: July 9, 2021

WOW Van in Monticello Today

Posted on: July 1, 2021

WOW Van Coming to Monticello July 1

Posted on: June 23, 2021

Wright County Fair Schedule Released

Posted on: June 21, 2021

Highway 30 Project Delayed

Posted on: June 1, 2021

May 9-15 Is National Police Week

Posted on: May 11, 2021

Appointments Open at License Center

Posted on: April 30, 2021

DNR EagleCam Up and Running

Posted on: April 27, 2021

Roadside Spraying

Posted on: April 22, 2021

DNR Has Interactive Bird Song Page

Posted on: April 21, 2021

Appointments Open at License Center

Posted on: April 2, 2021

First Half Property Taxes Due May 17

Posted on: April 1, 2021

I-94 Construction Ramping Up

Posted on: March 29, 2021

HHS Announces New Call Center

Posted on: March 26, 2021

First Half Property Taxes Due May 17

Posted on: March 24, 2021

Virtual Tour of Justice Center

Posted on: March 10, 2021

Fish Houses Must Be Off Lakes By Monday

Posted on: February 24, 2021

Two 4-H Summer Internships Available

Posted on: February 17, 2021

Members of Solar Farm Work Group Named

Posted on: February 16, 2021

I-35W Bridge to Glow Purple Tonight

Posted on: February 16, 2021

View Today's Press Conference

Posted on: February 11, 2021

Sheriff's Office Statement on Shooting

Posted on: February 9, 2021

County Offices Closed Monday, Jan. 18

Posted on: January 15, 2021

Public Health Releases COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted on: December 31, 2020

DNR Warning Residents About Thin Ice

Posted on: December 18, 2020

MEADA Receives $125,000 Federal Grant

Posted on: December 10, 2020

Public Health Releases COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted on: November 30, 2020

Sheriff's Office Releases Activity Report

Posted on: November 30, 2020

Sheriff's Office Releases Activity Report

Posted on: November 16, 2020

Santa Coming to Bertram Park Dec. 5

Posted on: November 5, 2020

View the Ballot You Will Be Filling Out

Posted on: October 21, 2020

Buckthorn a Problem in Woodland Areas

Posted on: October 13, 2020

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day

Posted on: September 18, 2020

Absentee Voting In Person Starts Friday

Posted on: September 14, 2020

CSAH 30 Project Nearing Completion

Posted on: September 8, 2020

Road Work on Hwy. 25 Starting Sept. 8

Posted on: September 3, 2020

Sirens to Sound at 1 P.M. Today, But Why?

Posted on: September 2, 2020

Road Closure in Monticello Tuesday

Posted on: August 24, 2020

Why Are Flags at Half-Mast Today?

Posted on: August 19, 2020

Where Is My Polling Place Location?

Posted on: August 10, 2020