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Hennepin eyes a 5.5 percent increase in the property tax levy

September 18, 2018

The Hennepin County administrator proposed a 5.5 percent increase in the property tax levy Tuesday afternoon, in part to pay the surging costs of protecting children from abuse and neglect.

The total budget proposed for next year is $2.4 billion, more than a third of which is financed by property taxes. The increase in the tax levy would raise an additional $44 million.

On Tuesday, County Administrator David Hough said the tax levy increase is a response to several ongoing challenges, including massive investments toward child protection services, which had a $122 million budget this year.

The reforms ... around child well-being do not come without a cost, Hough said. We cannot continue to draw down the fund balances and must find ways to permanently fund this activity.

The extra money will also account for higher personnel costs, which now make up a third of the countys budget, Hough said.

The total budget would be similar to this years budget, which was also $2.4 billion.

The operating budget would be $1.9 billion, $61.8 million less than the adjusted 2018 budget, according to county documents. The capital budget would be $475 million, $38 million more than the adjusted 2018 budget.

More than half of that capital budget would go toward light-rail and bus rapid transit expansion projects, according to county documents. About $58 million would go toward health and human services facilities, including the expansion of Northpoint Health and Wellness in north Minneapolis and the construction of the new Medical Examiners Office in Minnetonka.

A maximum property tax levy will be approved by the County Board next week. County services will then make their pitch for their piece of the budget beginning in October.

The annual truth-in-taxation hearing will be held on Nov. 27. County commissioners are expected to approve the final 2019 budget on Dec. 11.

Miguel Otandaacute;rola 612-673-4753

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