12/26/2013 10:23:00 AM Dakota Co. budget $333 million; levy down 0.6 percent
The Dakota County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on December 17 to decrease its 2014 preliminary levy an additional 0.1 percent, resulting in a final 2014 levy of $128,377,938.
The amount represents a 0.6-percent decrease from the 2013 levy. It also represents no net change in the County levy during the past four years, while the Consumer Price Index inflation totaled 8.9 percent in that same time period.
Contributing to the lower number is Dakota County reducing operating spending nearly $40 million since 2009 and becoming self-insured to manage health care costs. The County is able to keep its property tax among the lowest in Minnesota.
The reduction was also realized with help from an increase in state aid and federal reimbursements, as well as a new sales tax exemption for most purchases made by local governments. Dakota County has estimated the benefit of the sales tax exemption at $841,000.
The impact of the levy on a median value home in Dakota County is a more than $11 reduction in the County's share of property tax (median home tax is about $550).
Total budget is about $333 million. Total full-time equivalent employee number for Dakota County is at 1,745. Capital improvements account for $99 million of the total budget. Breaking down the capital improvements, $21.6 million is for parks, $2.9 million for land conservation, $41.5 for transportation, $14.9 million for debt service, and $18.5 million for buildings.
Commissioner salaries were set at $70,100. The administrator's salary was set at $167,437 (it can go no higher by State law). The county attorney salary is $165,500 plus a lump sum of $1,606. The county sheriff salary is $139,600 plus a lump sum of $1,354.