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Board raises county levy 6.55%

Budget discussions for the 2023 Carlton County fiscal year finally culminated at the board of commissioners on Tuesday, Dec. 27 with a 4-0 vote for a 6.55-percent increase in the county’s property tax levy. Commissioner Tom Proulx was absent.

A preliminary 6.9-percent levy increase was set in September. As has been the case the last few years, the preliminary tax levy has been reduced when the final decision is made in late December.

Chairman Gary Peterson noted that he had asked that the levy proposal reflect cuts in funding for new staff hours. Child and Family Initiatives, for example, had requested a new office support person but the board decided to fund the position at a 0.6 level instead of a 0.8 level.

Master Gardener Ann Rust’s position has been moved back into the Extension program, returning to a 0.8 level position as was the case two years ago. Peterson noted the Extension program had cut $23,000 from their budget for 2023. County coordinator Dennis Genereau said Rust would be leading the planting of the flower beds at the new Justice Center complex. The county will save over $100,000 for that in-house work.

The 6.55-percent levy increase is projected to raise $32,170,876 from Carlton County taxpayers in taxes payable in 2023.

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