Archived Story

County approves no tax increase

Published 9:57am Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Freeborn County commissioners on Tuesday approved not increasing its levy for 2014, but that doesn’t mean taxes are staying steady.

Because of changes in property values, owners of farmland will likely see an increase in their county property taxes during 2014, while residential owners and some commercial owners may see decreases, said Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever.

Because the values of tillable land are higher, this land takes on a larger portion of the tax burden, Kluever said. Property owners in 2014 will pay taxes based off of what their property was assessed at in 2013.

Freeborn County Assessor Ryan Rasmusson said without any increases in values, the county portion of property taxes will decrease about 18 1/2 percent for a $100,000 residential and $200,000 commercial property. It will increase about 14 percent for tillable land.

Specifically, county taxes for a $100,000 home will decrease by about $80 under the levy, while taxes for a $200,000 business will decrease by about $367, Rasmusson said.

A property classified as a homestead tillable property will increase roughly $2.23 per acre, while a non-homestead tillable property will increase about $4.45 per acre.

Commissioners approved a $19.46 million levy, same as the preliminary levy approved earlier this year.

County revenues are projected to be $41.36 million, while expenditures are budgeted at $42.04 million. Kluever said it is likely revenues will come in higher by the end of the year. Any difference will come from reserves.

In other action, the commissioners:

• Approved a two-year labor agreement with the Minnesota Public Employees Association, which represents patrol sergeants in the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office.

The agreement includes a 1.75 percent increase for 2013, and a 2 percent increase for 2014.

• Approved final payments to Ulland Bros. for improvements to four roads in the county.

The first, for $90,180, was for the repavement of Freeborn County Road 22.

Other payments included about $105,000 for bituminous overlay of County Road 5, about $88,000 for County Road 12 and about $105,000 for County Road 26.

• Authorized a two-year grant agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for about $9,000 to be used for snowmobile safety enforcement.

• Authorized the submission of a grant to the Minnesota Department of Revenue for the Freeborn County’s Auditor/Treasurer Office.