$2.3 million increase over 2014; 1 cent increase in tax levy
By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Board will consider approval of a balanced budget of $74.6 million for 2015 at the November budget meeting.
Dunn County Board members reviewed the proposed 2015 budget at the October 15 meeting.
The proposed budget for 2015 is $2.3 million more than the 2014 budget of $72.31 million.
The increases in the budget include:
• $99,000 more for the sheriff’s department ($6.2 million for 2014; $6.3 million requested for 2015.
• $75,000 more for jail assessment ($85,000 for 2014; $160,000 requested for 2015)
• $176,000 more for debt service ($3.7 million for 2014; $3.88 requested for 2015)
• $518,699 more for the health care center ($14.14 million for 2014; $14.66 million requested for 2015)
• $970,145 more for the highway department ($11.58 million for 2014; $12.55 million requested for 2015)
• $246,430 more for facilities and parks ($1.8 million for 2014; $2.1 million requested for 2015)
• $576,346 more for health insurance ($7.7 million for 2014; $8.2 million requested for 2015)
The proposed budget for 2015 includes a tax levy of $20.935 million.
The levy is at the statutory limit, said Tonya Kusmirek, Dunn County’s chief financial officer.
Because the levy is set at the maximum allowable by the state, debt service and library funding will be taken outside of the levy, she said.
State statute allows three budget areas to be included in the budget but not considered for the levy limit: debt service; county bridge aid to the towns; and library funding.
Equalized value has increased by 2.2 percent, and the mill rate will be going up 1 cent per $1,000 of equalized value, Kusmirek said.
Last year, the tax levy amounted to $7.96 per $1,000 in property value; for the 2015 budget, the tax levy will be $7.97 per $1,000 in value, she said.
Last month, Dunn County was looking at a $450,000 shortfall, noted Gary Bjork, county board supervisor from Colfax.
The budget came into balance because the sheriff’s department and the highway department will now be funding part of their budgets through each department’s unassigned fund balance, and the county’s health insurance cost will increase by 5 percent instead of 6 percent, Kusmirek explained, noting that other parts of the budget had small movements both up and down.
Kusmirek and Gene Smith, county manager, both said that the increase in the county’s self-funded health insurance is not an increase to the employee, but rather, is an increase in the cost of the plan.
Instead of the regular county board meeting on the third Wednesday of the month, the Dunn County Board’s budget meeting will be held on the second Wednesday, November 12.