Beltrami Commissioners to determine legislative priorities at Tuesday meeting

During its meeting Tuesday, the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners will speak with local legislators about the platform to support in St. Paul during the 2021 session.

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BEMIDJI -- Beltrami County Commissioners will describe their priorities with local legislators this afternoon as the 2021 session nears.

The Minnesota Legislature is set to start its session on Jan. 5 and according to county documents, Beltrami officials will speak about priorities related to several matters Tuesday. These range from tax policy to child care rules.

According to agenda documents, the commissioners will discuss the legislative items with Districts 2 and 5 Sens. Paul Utke, R-Park Rapids and Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, as well as District 2A Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook and District 5A Representative-elect Matt Bliss, R-Pennington. The first item listed in documents is adjustments to the Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT, program.

Beltrami officials will support legislation next year that adds an inflator to the formula for lands administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the county. This effort is based on the county having a large amount of non-taxable property.

Other priorities include:


  • Supporting a state focus on creating and licensing mental health facilities that address gaps in the continuum of care for behavioral health.
  • Protecting counties and local governments from having to pay bills related to errors made by state and federal agencies.
  • Adding flexibility in child care licensing, such as allowing providers to have an option to use school age daycare spots for preschool children.

Other items on the Tuesday agenda are:

  • Reviewing the economic impacts of coronavirus with Greater Bemidji Economic Development staff.
  • Apportionment of funds collected by the county through tax forfeitures.
  • Approving the commissioner salaries for 2021.

The commissioners will meet for their work session at 3 p.m. and their regular meeting at 5 p.m. The meeting can be viewed on YouTube.

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