County taxes to rise 2.9 percent

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Freeborn County commissioners on Tuesday approved a 2.9 percent increase in the 2012 county tax levy, which is down slightly from what was proposed in September.

In what was a unanimous vote, the board approved a local levy of about $19.17 million. In September, the board had approved a proposed levy increase of 3.5 percent.

The increase goes to support increased infrastructure needs through the Highway Department and an increase in capital improvement projects.

Email newsletter signup

Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever was unable to be reached Tuesday to find out an estimate of what the increases will mean for the owner of a $100,000 home.

It will be on top of automatic property tax increases that are expected because of state changes to the market value homestead credit.

With the elimination of the credit, the state instituted a homestead market value exclusion, which reduces the value of a home subject to taxation. This ultimately reduces tax capacity and causes a shift in the tax structure.

Homes valued between $100,000 and $400,00 can expect increases, along with commercial, industrial and residential nonhomestead properties.

Also approved Tuesday were the salaries for the county’s elected officials:

• Attorney: $95,000

• Auditor/treasurer: $80,000

• Recorder: $57,000

• Sheriff: $78,000

• Commissioners: $22,700

The salaries were up slightly from 2011 when the attorney was paid $94,000, the auditor/treasurer was paid $79,000, recorder $55,500 and sheriff $75,000.

The salaries were approved with minimal discussion, other than the commissioners’ salaries. Commissioners Mike Lee and Board Chairman Dan Belshan voted against.

Belshan said the decisions about the salaries were made after staff came in and talked to the commissioners, and salaries were compared with others across the state.

Employees with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will see a 1 percent wage increase in 2012.

Look to the Tribune in future editions for more about the meeting.