County board explains how budget/levy numbers work

Last month when the Wright County Board of Commissioners adopted its 2018 draft budget and certified levy, the increases in both were somewhat alarming. The 2018 budget of $126,252,299 represented a 10.9 percent increase from 2017 and the levy – the amount paid by residents in property taxes – of $62,680,533 represented a 7.7 percent increase.
However, as the commissioners have explained since, the realistic increase is little more than a half-percent to the average homeowner. How is that possible? Thanks to the continued growth in Wright County, new additions to the tax base almost completely cover the increase in the county’s budget and levy.
“It’s actually closer to half of 1 percent when you factor in the increased tax capacity in the county,” Commissioner Mike Potter said. “The increase in the levy was 7.7 percent, but brand new construction in 2017 brought us up by 5.38 percent – that’s just the brand new stuff. There was other construction that began in 2016 that was only partially completed and the valuation was pro-rated for that year. When you add that value in now that it is completed and fully operational, next year we’re going to get that money, too.”

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