Nobles County is working to reduce the tax burden; considering 4.988% increase in property tax – The Globe

WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Board of Commissioners held its annual Truth in Taxation Hearing Thursday night in Worthington, at which it was announced county spending would rise 7.45% for 2022 — at $15,601,337. This represents an increase from expenditures of $14,860,094 in 2021.

Reasons for the increase include 2.23% salary increases for staff, the creation of six new county government positions in 2022, new funding for four different ambulance services – two of which are outside of Nobles County – serving county residents, and increased appropriations to certain county entities. Additionally, additional funds were needed for election administration since 2022 is an election year, and there was a need to increase the budget for community corrections.

“Our population is growing and the demand for services is greater,” Nobles County Administrator Bruce Heitkamp said of the newly created positions.

With increased spending, the county appears set to accept a 4.988% increase in property tax, down from the 10% it set as a tax not to be exceeded in September. The 4.988% tax increase means property tax revenue for the county will increase from $14,860,094 to $15,601,337.

Much work has been done in recent months by the budget committee and department heads to reduce the amount it would need from taxpayers to cover expenses. One of the steps taken was to dip into reserves to pay for increased insurance benefits for employees, Heitkamp said. This has minimized the increase in levies and it is also hoped to attract more employees by paying a larger share of their insurance premium.

The county will take formal action on its 2022 budget at its Dec. 21 board meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. in the boardroom, located on the third floor of the Nobles County Government Center in downtown Worthington.

Heitkamp said Nobles County ranked third in tax levies, per capita, of Minnesota’s nine southwestern counties in 2021. Jackson County had the highest taxes, per capita, at $1,106 (their levy was $11,045,152 and their 2020 census population was 9,989), followed by Lincoln County at $1,035 per capita (levy of $5,836,908 with a 2020 census population of 5,640 ).

Cottonwood, Murray, Redwood, and Pipestone counties all had higher per capita taxes than Nobles County, while Rock and Lyon counties had lower per capita taxes. Lyon County, home to Marshall, had the lowest per capita tax, at $603. It is also the largest of the nine counties with a 2020 census population of 25,269, compared to Nobles County’s 2020 population of 22,290.

Heitkamp said while Nobles County continues to grow slowly — unlike all of its bordering Minnesota counties which have lost population — it has also seen a decrease in state-issued county program aid. , as well as an increase in mandatory services.

Being a largely agricultural county, it’s no surprise that a large portion of taxes are generated by farmland – 63.6% in 2022. This figure is down slightly from 64.6% in 2021 Homeowners account for 16.99% of county tax revenue, followed by commercial and industrial buildings at 12.17%. Personal property adds 3.98% to tax revenue, utilities and railways contribute 1.65% and apartments 1.61%.

Based on a $1,000 tax bill, $405 would go to Nobles County to fund government services.

In 2022, General Government will again be the largest recipient of tax revenue ($121.01), followed by Social Services ($88.01), Public Safety ($61.39), Prison ($54.01). $.51), Culture and Recreation – Nobles County Libraries, Historical Society and Parks – ($27.99) and Department of Highways ($21.29). All other departments receive $11 or less of this $1,000 tax bill. These departments, ranked from highest to lowest amount received, include public health, debt service, parole and probation, natural resource conservation, and economic development.

Penny D. Jackson