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KITTSON COUNTY BOARD PROCEEDINGS

KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
PROCEEDINGS – Truth N Taxation
December 7, 2023

The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on December 7, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was open to the public.
Interim Administrator Kathy Johnson presented information provided by Kittson County Taxpayer Services and Shirley Swenson, Chief Financial Officer.
The meeting agenda was presented: presentation on the 2024 budget and public hearing to receive input on the 2024 budget. Minnesota Statute 275.065 Subdivision 3 states that counties must hold a meeting to allow for public input prior to the final budget and levy determination. The hearing must occur after November 24th and must not be held before 6:00 p.m. The public must be allowed to speak at the meeting.
Budgetary requirements were presented: counties were created as political subdivisions of the State of Minnesota. Counties are required by Federal and State law to deliver certain mandated services. In some cases, there is no compensation provided by the Federal or State governments to implement and provide these services; what compensation is provided is often subject to change.
The budget process was discussed. Yearly from May to September, the County Administrator and Department Heads work to draft budgets and present them to the County Board for Review. On September 5th, 2023, the 2024 Proposed Resolution was adopted by the County Board. On October 3rd, 2023, the Truth in Taxation (TNT) hearing was scheduled for December 7th, 2023. In November, TNT Statements were mailed to Kittson County landowners. On December 29th, 2023, final review, and final resolution for adoption of the 2024 budget will occur.
Johnson then discussed driving factors for the levy increase in 2024. It was relayed that it is imperative to remember that the levy stated on the TNT Statements is preliminary and the Department Heads are working diligently to decrease the budget. The proposed levy was submitted with an inflated number due to several factors, including many unknown factors at the time of setting the proposed levy. These factors included awaiting health insurance quotes and ongoing Union negotiations. The law states that counties may not increase the proposed levy after budget confirmation, so the levy was set at a higher amount with full understanding that it would be decreased. The cost of doing business has also increased, and it is notable that delivery of mandated services to citizens makes up 60-85% of the county’s budget expense.
A budget comparison between the 2023 proposed budget and the 2024 proposed budget was presented.
2023 Proposed Budget
Expenditures: $14,637,573
Revenue: $8,765,450
Reported Tax Levy: $6,225,183
Less Program Aid: $474,466
Tax Levy: $5,750,717

2024 Proposed Budget
Expenditures: $14,646,784
Revenue: $6,432,519
Reported Tax Levy: $8,214,265
Less Program Aid: $618,082
Tax Levy: $7,596,183
Johnson reiterated that the reported tax levy on the TNT statements does not consider the Program Aid received from the state, in the amount of $618,082. This reduces the proposed levy to the amount of $7,596,183. This decreases the reported levy increase to 33%.
A comparison of the 2023 actual budget to the 2024 proposed budget was presented.
2023 Budget
Revenue Fund – Net: $4,494,631
Road & Bridge Fund – Net: $561,885
Social Services Fund – Net: $815,607
Public Safety Fund – Net: $1,512,292
2024 Budget
Revenue Fund – Net: $5,096,308
Road & Bridge Fund – Net: $1,964,475
Social Services Fund – Net: $1,143,482
Public Safety Fund – Net: $1,703,978
A breakdown of County Revenue was presented, including 45% in Intergovernmental Revenues from the State, 24% County portion of tax, 9% charges for services, 8% State paid portion of the Tax Levy, and 8% Intergovernmental Revenues from the Federal government. County Expenditures were also provided, including 41% spent on highways and streets, 25% for general government activities, 14% for public safety, and 15% for human services. County appropriations have been increased by 1.02% in 2023, namely in Kittson Historical Society, Agricultural Society, Agricultural Inspection, and the Northwest Regional Library.
The property tax calculation process was reviewed. The Non-Property Tax Revenue (LGA, fees, etc.) is subtracted from the Total Proposed Local Budget to find the Levy (property tax revenue needed.) For each parcel, the Assessor’s Taxable Market Value is added together then multiplied by State Mandated Class Rates to find the county’s Total Tax Capacity. The levy is divided by the Total Tax Capacity to find the Local Tax Rate.
The Taxable Market Value is multiplied by the property’s classification rate, then the local tax rate to find the Base Tax amount. Applicable credits are subtracted, followed by adding in any operating referendum tax, any bonding referendum tax, and any state general tax to find the total Property Tax due for each parcel.
The meeting was then opened to questions and comments from the public.
Loren Younggren,
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Shirley Swenson,
Kittson County CFO
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KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
PROCEEDINGS
December 28, 2023
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on December 28, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Younggren. The pledge to the flag was given.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the agenda. Motion carried unanimously.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson, and unanimously carried to approve the Bills.
Commissioner’s $371,382.69 The 2024 Budget and Tax Levy was presented by Resolution, Commissioner Gillie moved to approve Resolution #23-41 seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously approved to carry.
2024 BUDGET AND TAX LEVY
WHEREAS, Department Administrators presented proposed budgets to the County Board for the year 2024, and
WHEREAS, said proposed budgets have been reviewed by the County Board and amended to a final budget amount for the following funds:
Revenue $ 4,991,914
Road & Bridge $ 628,915
Social Services $ 860,473
TOTAL $ 6,481,302
This provides for a tax levy for taxes to be collected in 2024 in the amount of $5,863,220
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the budget for 2024 is hereby approved with the tax levy amount as follows:
Revenue $ 4,991,914
Road & Bridge $ 628,915
Social Services $ 860,473
TOTAL $ 6,481,302
Less State Paid Aids $ 618,082
NET LEVY $ 5,863,220
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the budgets are approved with the provisions that no major capital purchase of $2,000 may be made without first obtaining approval from the County Board or Purchasing Committee.
To decrease the budget, and therefore the levy, the Kittson County Highway Department and Kittson County Social Services will use monies from their reserves in the 2024 year.
Approval to perform ditch tranfers for 2023 was requested. Commissioner Gillie made the motion to approve the accounting transfers, which will be presented by Shirley Swenson, Kittson County Chief Financial Officer upon completion. Commissioner Swenson seconded the motion, which then carried unanimously.
The 2024 cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 4.5% for county employees, and the pay scales for the years of 2024, 2025 and 2026 calculated through negotiations with the three separate unions, was presented for approval. The agreement also includes a 4.0% COLA for 2025, and a 3.5% COLA in 2026. A motion to approve the 3-year COLA was made by Commissioner Olson, then seconded by Commissioner Kraulik. The motion carried unanimously.
Jeanna Kujava, Public Health Director, representing the Kittson County Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force (SAPTF), brought forth for consideration a proposal to transfer $10,000 from the Task Force’s operating fund to a short-term 3-month Certificate of Deposit (CD) at American Federal Bank. Jeanna also presented the 2024 Annual Budget for SAPTF. A motion to approve the transfer was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson, and unanimously approved. A motion to approve the budget was made by Commissioner Gillie. Commissioner Olson seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Swenson made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik. Motion carried unanimously.
Loren Younggren,
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Shirley Swenson,
Kittson County CFO
(January 10, 2024)
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