BEMIDJI -- An increase in Beltrami County's tax levy for next year is expected to come in just below 4%.

According to the 2022 budget book released during the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners' meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7, the proposed tax levy for 2022 is $27.08 million. The amount is a $1.03 million, or 3.96%, increase over 2021's $26.05 million levy.

The county's levy is based on both its main operating funds and debt payments. In total, the county is levying $25.7 million for operations, a $3.86% increase from the $24.7 million in 2021. The following are increases to each of the county's funds:

  • In the general operating fund, the county is levying for $1.9 million, a $139,240 increase from $1.8 million in 2021.
  • For the public safety fund, the county is levying $11.9 million in 2022, a $421,107 increase from the $11.5 million in 2021.
  • In the human services fund, the county is levying for $8.9 million in 2022, a $314,560 increase from the $8.6 million this year.
  • For the roads and bridges fund, the amount is $2.9 million for 2022, an $80,022 increase from the $2.8 million for 2021.

For its debt services related to the Beltrami County Jail, Law Enforcement Center and Judicial Center, the total for 2022 comes to $1.37 million for 2022. The amount is an increase of $76,000 from the $1.29 million levied in 2021.

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The following changes are being made for each debt payment:

  • For the Beltrami County Jail, the debt service amount is $394,000 in 2022, an increase of $25,000 from $369,000 in 2021.
  • For the Law Enforcement Center, the debt service is $296,000 for 2022, a $9,000 increase from $287,000 in 2021.
  • For the Judicial Center, the debt service is $682,000 in 2022, a $42,000 increase from the $640,000 levied in 2021.

According to the budget book, the total government revenue in 2022 for the county will come to $91.2 million, an increase from the $76.8 million total this year. Main funding sources for the county's revenue include:

  • $35.9 million in taxes.
  • $39.3 million in intergovernmental sources, such as state and federal government support.
  • $8.8 million in charges for services.
  • $3.1 million in special assessments.

The total government expenses for 2022, meanwhile, come to a balanced amount of $91.2 million. The largest expenses budgeted for 2022:

  • $25.9 million for human services.
  • $22.3 million for highways and streets.
  • $17.4 million for general government operations.
  • $13.8 million for public safety.

The vote on the preliminary tax levy is expected at the Sept. 21 meeting. Following the vote, county officials are allowed to lower the levy, but not raise it before the final approval in December.

Before the final vote takes place at the end of the year, a budget hearing will be held on Dec. 7.