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County taxes going up, but less than proposed

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Douglas County’s tax levy will increase by 4.25 percent for 2014.

Commissioners approved the tax increase and next year’s budget on a 4-0 vote during a hearing last Thursday. Commissioner Bev Bales was reportedly ill and did not attend the meeting.

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The levy was approved at $25,591,937, a 4.25 percent increase, or $1 million over the 2013 levy.

This fall, the county board had approved a preliminary levy increase of 8.6 percent. However, during several meetings since then, the proposed levy increase was cut by about half.

According to documents, the bulk of the increased taxes, about $305,000, will go toward increased county employee health insurance costs.

According to County Auditor/Treasurer Char Rosenow, here’s how the 2014 levied tax dollars will be spent within county government: general, $12.1 million; public works, $3.9 million; public health, $553,000; social services, $4.1 million; library, $755,000; capital projects, $954,000; bonds and interest, $3.2 million.

2014 BUDGET

The county’s 2014 budget was approved at $49,620,407.

Revenues came in at $48,420,407 and expenditures were listed as $49,620,407. To balance the budget, commissioners authorized a $1.2 million fund balance spend-down.

All of the county’s budget revenues are projected to increase for 2014.

Revenue sources like taxes, licenses and permits, charges for services, investment earnings and others will increase by about $4.3 million.

Details about the county’s budget are available at www.co.douglas.mn.us.

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Amy Chaffins
Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, Amy’s first job was at KSAX-TV working as an anchor and reporter. From 2003-2010, Amy worked as an editor and reporter for the Pope County Tribune and Starbuck Times newspapers. During her journalism career, Amy earned writing and photography awards from the Associated Press, Minnesota Newspaper Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Amy and her husband, Brandon, live in Alexandria and together write “He Sez, She Sez,” a humor column in the local women’s magazine, Chicz
(320) 763-1242
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