Carlton County Board OKs 4.9% increase to 2022 levy
The levy increase is due to increasing staff wages, workers compensation insurance costs and payments for the bonding of the proposed justice center.
The Carlton County Board of Commissioners approved a 4.9% increase in the county's tax levy for 2022 during its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 28.
The levy was approved with no changes after the county's truth in taxation meeting on Dec. 14.
Commissioners approved the projected budget for 2022 as well, which included total revenues of $37.96 million and expenses of $69.77 million. The total levy allocation makes up $31.81 million of the budget.
As noted during the truth in taxation meeting, the increase in the levy is due to a general wage increase of 3% for county staff, a 6% rise in workers compensation insurance costs and the need to levy for the proposed justice center bonding.
County auditor Kevin DeVriendt said the levy is close to the statewide average increase of 3.7% for other counties.
"We also have an amount in there for the justice center bonding so we are in line with statewide counties," he said.
DeVriendt explained there were some minor tweaks to the county's projected revenues and expenditures, but they did not affect the totals presented at the truth in taxation meeting.
In other county business, the commissioners approved the 3% wage increase to staff and approved a minimum of 3% to the county's elected staff, the sheriff and county attorney. Salaries for elected staff could see a greater increase after a grading is done at the start of the new year.
Chub Lake Park Road was also established as a county road, as the road located in Twin Lakes Township is mainly used for those visiting Chub Lake Park.
County engineer JinYeene Neumann told the board talks of establishing it as a county road were brought about during the annexation of the proposed justice center site.
"The way I understand it, this is part of the annexation deal," she said.
Commissioners also approved their salaries for the next year at $24,938, a slight increase from $24,212 in 2021.