The Polk County Board of Commissioners approved a 5.5 percent preliminary levy at this week’s meeting despite a recommendation for a 6.5 percent increase by County Administrator Chuck Whiting. Once set, the preliminary levy is used to calculate the maximum property tax levy for notices to each property tax payer for the following year. The Polk County Board of Commissioners may lower, but not raise, the levy from the preliminary levy during the fall as work continues to refine the budget, said the county board packet.

    There will be a public hearing on the levy on December 3, 2019 at 6 p.m. at the Polk County Government Center in Crookston. The final levy will be announced December 17, 2019.

    Whiting said the big “unknown” is the Enbridge tax deal and that was one of the reasons why he recommended 6.5 percent which was the maximum amount from the five options he presented that went from 4.375 percent to 6.505 percent.

    “This does send a message to taxpayers, what kind of direction you go,” Whiting commented.

    Whiting also talked about not trying to “maintain the status quo” all the time and for the board not to be afraid to change several things up.

    “Regardless, we’ll probably get it back down to 3 or 3.5 percent again,” he added.