Douglas County property taxes to go up 2.5%

Commissioners approve $56.7 million budget, $29.1 million levy at Truth in Taxation meeting.

Char Rosenow

Property owners in Douglas County will see their property taxes go up by 2.5% for the 2021 tax year.

Char Rosenow, Douglas County auditor/treasurer, provided a very detailed presentation about the county’s $56.7 million budget and $29.1 million levy during the annual Truth in Taxation meeting Thursday, Dec. 3.

2021 Douglas County Budget Presentation by inforumdocs on Scribd

No questions were asked from the one non-county employee in attendance.


The county’s levy increased by 710,808, an increase of 2.5% from last year. Its budget increased by $2,606,355, a 4.6% increase.

The net levy budgets were also set for the following departments:

  • County attorney – $1.1 million. This is an increase of $43,848 (4.13%) from last year.

  • County auditor/treasurer – $1.4 million. This is a decrease of $67,289 (4.58%) from last year.

  • County recorder – $31,559. This is an increase of $31,364 from last year. Last year’s net levy budget was only $195 because of the retirement of a long-term employee. In addition, revenues went up and expenditures went down, which created almost no levy needed. This year’s levy is back on par with where it should be.

  • County sheriff – $9.3 million. This is an increase of $359,350 (4.01%) from last year.

Here’s a breakdown of other county departments:

  • Public Works: $4,222,979 – 3.6% decrease.

  • Social Services: $4,179,859 – 3.08% increase.

  • Library: $1,115,983 – 7.1% increase.

  • Capital projects: $234,987 – 47.78% decrease.

  • Bonds and interest: $1,988,438 – 1.02 % decrease.

During the meeting, Rosenow offered reasons why property taxes go up and down, and explained that the county board only has discretion over its own budget and levy.
Here’s a look at possible changes that could affect property taxes:

  • The market value of your property.

  • The market value of other properties in your taxing district, shifting taxes from one property to another.

  • The state’s general property tax.

  • The city or township budget and levy.

  • The county budget and levy.

  • The school district’s budget and levy.

  • A special district’s budget and levy.

  • Special assessments to your property tax bill.

  • Voters approve a school, city/township, county or special district referendum.

  • Federal and state mandates.

  • Aid and revenue from the state and federal governments.

  • In addition, the state Legislature may have changed the portion of the tax base paid by different types of properties, and other law changes may adjust the tax base.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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