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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Polk County Board OKs preliminary 4.1% levy increase for 2014

  • Actual increase could end up being less, but levy limit max is significantly higher.
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  • The Polk County Commissioner's Board set their preliminary levy increase for 2013-14 at 4.1 percent during Tuesday's meeting. This came after a lot of discussion on the possible outcomes.
    Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting first showed them an "out of the chute" request of 9.2 percent and then explained that this was just a rough draft using the full levy limit. The actual amount would have been seven percent after the bond redemption or special levy.
    Whiting showed a few different scenarios including six and five percent before going around the table to ask what everyone's opinions for the preliminary would be. Commissioner Warren Affeldt said he "doesn't like five and six percent, but could do four." Affeldt also mentioned that they should "set the preliminary closer to where we will all agree so we aren't perceived wrongly by the media." Commissioner Warren Strandell thought they should try to "negotiate close to 4.5 percent." Commissioner Nick Nicholas "likes four percent better than three." And finally Commissioner Don Diedrich would like "less than four percent, maybe somewhere like 3.5 or 3.75." They all agreed that three percent would be too low.
    The LARL Crookston Public Library was asking for a full 9 percent increase regardless of what was set, which is where the 0.1 percent comes from. For those concerned with the property tax side, they won't have an actual amount in there because the real levy increase will be less. As of right now 2.36 percent will be the actual increase after the county's debt and that will most likely go down by December.
    Commissioner Affeldt motioned to set the preliminary at 4.1 percent and Commissioner Strandell seconded. It ended with all in favor.

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