County to consider preliminary levy

by Paul Rignell
Contributing writer

The Sherburne County Board on Sept. 11 will consider a preliminary tax levy for 2013 with no increase over 2012.

“We were able to do a combination of some more cuts and some additional revenue to get it to zero,” County Administrator Brian Bensen told the Star News.

Minnesota counties must pass preliminary levies by Sept. 15 each year. County boards may reduce their levies further before final certification is due Dec. 28, but they cannot raise an annual levy above their preliminary total. “The preliminary levy you get is the highest you can go. We try to get it to zero right away,” Bensen said.

Cuts are being proposed “pretty much all over,” he added, “from a small cut of one piece of equipment here (in one department) to some rather significant changes in other departments.”

But the proposed budget for 2013 calls for no further layoffs after Sherburne County let go 68 of its employees through the past two years, Bensen said.

He added that staff will recommend the use of fund reserves for some public works projects that are scheduled for next year, and enterprise funds for some capital purchases.