Dunn County Board approves $79.9 million expense budget and $21.6 million tax levy

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE —  The Dunn County Board has approved a $79.9 million expense budget for 2018 and a property tax levy of $21.6 million.

The resolutions adopting the 2018 budget and the tax levy were approved at the Dunn County Board’s November 14 meeting.

[emember_protected] The levy of $21.62 million compares to a levy on the 2017 budget of $21.59 million.

The 2018 budget includes $5.96 million for administration; $1.4 million for the courts; $1.4 million for emergency communication; $1.9 million for environmental services; $1.35 million for public health; $6.8 million for the sheriff’s department and jail assessment; $2.75 million for solid waste and recycling; $3.7 million for deb service; $10.8 million for human services; $13.66 million for The Neighbors of Dunn County; $12.2 million for the highway department; $3.3 million for the facilities and recreation division; and $8.03 million for self-funded health insurance and $823,440 for self-funded worker’s compensation.

The 2018 expense budget of $79.9 million compares to an expense budget for 2017 of $79.3 million.

The mill rate per $1,000 of property value is calculated at $7.36, compared to last year’s mill rate of $7.57 per $1,000 of property value, representing a decrease in the mill rate of 21 cents per $1,000 of property value.

Taxpayers should be aware that a decrease in the mill rate does not necessarily mean their property taxes will decrease.

When the equalized value of property increases, the mill rate decreases.

Equalized value can increase when new buildings have been constructed, but equalized value can also increase on existing properties.

When the mill rate decreases, if the equalized value of existing property increases, the property tax will stay the same or will increase, depending on the amount of increase on the equalized value.

The 2018 budget will be subsidized with $1.1 million from the undesignated general fund balance and $1.4 million from other fund balances.

The other fund balances include $50,000 from the jail assessment fund and $1.38 million from the highway department fund balance.

Top 10

The treasurer’s report by Doris Meyer, county treasurer, also was reviewed by the Dunn County Board.

Part of Meyer’s report included the top 10 property tax payers in Dunn County in 2016:

• Wal-Mart Distribution — 2016 estimated fair market value of $65.35 million; 2016 assessed value of $62.69 million; 2016 property taxes paid were $1.53 million.

• Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) — fair market value of $34.38 million; assessed value of $33.09 million; taxes paid were $806,544.

• WI MN AB BIYNAH LLC (private equity firm) — fair market value of $22.36 million; assessed value of $21.45 million; taxes paid were $522,721.

• Phillips Plastic — fair market value of $14.39 million; assessed value of $13.81 million; taxes paid were $336,347.

• Big River Resources (ethanol plant) — fair market value of $15.08 million; assessed value of $14.78 million; taxes paid were $323,473.

• Cardinal Glass — fair market value of $12.83 million; assessed value of $12.31 million; taxes paid were $299,942.

• Conagra — fair market value of $12.5 million; assessed value of $12 million; taxes paid were $292,250.

• Chippewa Valley Warehouse — fair market value of $9.29 million; assessed value of $9.69 million; taxes paid were $226,426.

• Menomonie Industrial — fair market value of $8.9 million; assessed value of $8.55 million; taxes paid were $208,258.

• GATWC LLC — fair market value of $8.12 million; assessed value of $7.79 million; taxes paid were $189,757.

Other business

In other business, the Dunn County Board:

• Approved a resolution amending the county’s job classes by multiplying the value of Grade 1, step 6, by 1.075 and extending the grid to maintain a separation of 6 percent between grades and 2.75 percent between steps, effective for the payroll period including January 1, 2018. The resolution also includes the provision that employees earning above the pay grid shall have hourly wages not less than 102 percent of their 2014 hourly wages. In addition, payment in lieu of fringe benefits for eligible employees will be increased by 1.5 percent.

• Amended the employee handbook as it pertains to The Neighbors of Dunn County to provide compensation added to regular pay for employees who accept additional hours of work voluntarily. Certified nursing assistants will receive $5 per hour more; licensed practical nurses will receive $7 per hour more; registered nurses will receive $10 per hour more. Employees mandated to work vacant shifts will receive additional pay of $2.50 per hour more for certified nursing assistants; $3.50 per hour more for licensed practical nurses and $5 per hour more for registered nurses. Staff shortages at The Neighbors have made it necessary to assign additional shifts for full-time and part-time employees.

• Added deputy county clerk to the inventory of job classes. The 2018 budget includes a request from the county clerk to reclassify a Secretary I position to “deputy county clerk.” Funding for the deputy county clerk has been included in the 2018 budget.

• Approved a resolution to authorize borrowing up to $2 million that will apply to specific capital projects identified as part of the county’s 2018 budget, including mechanical system improvements to county buildings, purchasing computer equipment and purchasing publics works vehicles. [/emember_protected]