County board OKs tax decrease [UPDATED]Published 9:36am Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Updated 11:37am Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Otter Tail County Commissioner Doug Huebsch and fellow board members take pride is being good stewards of county dollars, and holding the line on taxes as best they can for county residents. A reduction of 1.78 percent in the gross tax levy, approved Tuesday, makes for a happy Christmas present for county residents.
“In 2011 our total gross tax levy was $32,957,385. Our board just passed our final levy and we’re happy to say it’s lower than last year,” said Huebsch, a budget committee member. “Payable in 2012, we set it at $32,372,200.”
Huebsch notes that, over the past three years, all county departments have identified and implemented initiatives to become more efficient, cut spending and delivered government more effectively.
“It’s because of the entire staff’s hard work and dedication that we‘re able to pass these savings along to the taxpayers,” he said. “This is especially important this year. That’s because the Minnesota State Legislature repealed the market value homestead credit as part of the budget deal to end the state government shutdown.”
Huebsch, who represents the Perham area, said the tax shift will add tax burden to the local level. However, he said Otter Tail County’s lower levy will cushion this blow.
Last month the board announced that savings of $536,050 will be realized through the refinancing of a $5.4 million bond at the low rate of 1.33 percent. The low bid came from United Bankers of Bloomington.
In addition, the county board also approved new financing, through a bond sale, of $4.7 million that’s needed for courthouse improvements and county detention center costs. The low bid of 2.45 percent came from Baird of Milwaukee, Wis.