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Beltrami County Board: Proposed property tax levy to be set

The Beltrami County Board will discuss the 2010 property tax levy during the regular meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the County Board Room.

Approval of the resolution would result in a decrease in the 2010 property tax levy by $330,855, or 1.91 percent.

State law requires the County Board to set the preliminary tax levy for the coming year by Sept. 15. Following the adoption of the preliminary tax levy, the County Board may reduce the budget levy but may not increase the adopted levy. The County Board must also set the date for a public hearing on the proposed budget. The hearing must be held after 6 p.m. after Nov. 24. The County Board will consider Tuesday the proposal to hold the Budget Public Hearing at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1.

The Beltrami County budget for 2009 was $17.3 million. The proposed 2010 budget is $16.9 million.

Beltrami County Board Administrator Tony Murphy explained the difference and how county departments were able to come up with a reduction in the property tax levy.

"We've cut everything," Murphy said. "We've reduced our staffing by 23 full-time equivalents."

He said department heads worked to find ways to reduce costs.

Another savings, Murphy said, is the retirement of the Development District levy to pay for the infrastructure in the old fairgrounds area where the Westwood Center was developed.

"That debt has now been paid in full," Murphy said.

In addition, he said, the county used to pay an airport levy, but the Bemidji Regional Airport is now its own levying entity, so that amount is off the county rolls.

Work session

Prior to the regular County Board meeting, the county commissioners will hold a work session beginning at 3 p.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room.

Issues for discussion during the work session include:

- Options for county provided homemaking services.

- Novel H1N1 flu update.

- Inspection of Enbridge Pipeline construction.

- Composition of the Audit Selection Committee.

- Update on Beltrami South & Water Conservation District activities.