• Levy set at $4.72 per $1,000 valuation
BROOKINGS – Brookings County plans to spend $19.7 million and to tax residents at a rate of $4.72 per $1,000 property valuation during 2013, according to a provisional budget the Brookings County Commission approved last week.
A public hearing was held before the vote, but no one spoke.
Commissioner Dennis Falken noted that the $4.72 levy rate is higher than last year’s $4.63 per $1,000. However, County Treasurer Vicki Buseth said it will likely change before the final budget is approved on Sept. 28.
“We just got the figures late Thursday from the Department of Revenue and I’ve been working on it,” Buseth said. “We have some tweaking to do now for the annual budget and the figures should go down, because the growth did go up in the county.
“These are the figures that we had when we were doing it, but now we do have the actual figure from the utilities.”
Whatever the rate, the county will collect more than $9.9 million in taxes this coming year. About $247,000 of that goes to the county’s building fund, the rest to its general fund.
Other revenue will come from use of cash balance and taxes on licenses and permits; intergovernmental funds; goods, services and fees; fines and forfeits and miscellaneous sources.
As for spending, that is set to decrease next year from about $21.5 million in 2012.
Notably, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program received about $22,500 this year; in 2013 the county will give just under $70,000 to WIC. However, that’s balanced by a lower number for community health: Just under $73,000 in 2013 vs. almost $95,000 in 2012.
The county is also setting aside $20,000 in “other” funds in its Culture budget for 2013.
Unlike 2012, when the county set aside significant money for its share of the Brookings City & County Government Center and courthouse remodel, the only large miscellaneous expense for 2013 is $2.7 million for a highway and bridge project.
The county is planning to use about $1.6 million in cash balance to complete its courthouse project this coming year. Commissioner Don Larson noted that the county seems to have a healthy cash balance.
“Looking at our general fund and the cash we have on hand at the end of the year shows that, in my opinion, we’re strong financially,” Larson said.
The provisional budget has been published in the Register and is available for residents to view in the County Finance Office, inside the City & County Government Center, 520 Third St., Brookings.
“Now we go back and through and do a final budget, which is what we’re going to talk about today, if there’s any alterations to this,” Falken added.
The Commission will hold another public hearing Sept. 28 before approving the final budget for 2013.
Contact Charis Prunty at firstname.lastname@example.org.