warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

County Board OKs 2.73% levy increase

On a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the McLeod County Board of Commissioners passed its first levy increase since 2010.
The 2016 property tax levy will be increased 2.73 percent over 2015, which will generate an additional $500,000 revenue for the county.
County Commissioner Doug Krueger cast the dissenting vote.
Krueger said he reviewed budget information presented at a workshop Monday, and said he felt the County Board has not done enough to curtail spending.
Citing increases for libraries, the historical society, and other spending, Krueger said the county sometimes spent more “on wants rather than needs.”
Krueger said he also felt some line-item increases were necessary, but didn’t feel he could support a levy increase this year.
Commissioner Ron Shimanski said he looked at the county’s levy back to 2007. In 2007, the levy was $18.12 million; the proposed levy for 2016 is $18.793 million, an increase over the past nine years of 3.7 percent.
Shimanski said that while he feels the county has, for the most part, operated efficiently, he agreed with Krueger that “we have to watch our dollars and hold our ‘niceties’ in check.”
But Shimanski also said that the county will need to adjust its salary schedule and has other ongoing items that warrant a modest increase.
Shimanski said that looking around the state, McLeod County’s proposed levy increase is “in the range of low level.”
Commissioner Joe Nagel asked County Auditor Cindy Schultz Ford to talk a little about the impact on individual property taxes.
Schultz Ford said that if property values stayed the same, most people should not see an increase in the county portion of their property taxes. If valuations increased, there could be an increase in the county portion of their taxes.
Schultz Ford reminded the board that the total level is $18.793 million, and that $500,000 is a very small portion of that.
She also noted that the total budget is $47 million, of which $18.793 million is funded through property taxes.
“Five hundred thousand dollars is not a huge amount when you’re talking an $18 million levy and a $47 million budget,” Schultz Ford said.

For more, see the Dec. 16 print edition of The Chronicle.