The preliminary property tax levies have been released by the Minnesota Department of Revenue prior to the upcoming Truth-in-Taxation meetings across the state.
Each town or city with a population of at least 500 people, counties, school districts, regional library authorities and metropolitan taxing districts must hold a meeting.
The purpose of the public Truth-in-Taxation meeting is to give constituents an opportunity to provide input on how their tax dollars are being spent, according to the MDR. The final 2021 property tax levies must be set by Dec. 28, and must be equal to or lower than the preliminary levies.
Breckenridge’s final levy in 2020 was $1,004,395 and the 2021 preliminary levy is $1,044,897, a 4 percent increase. In the state of Minnesota, the 2020 final levy for cities was $2.674 billion compared to the 2021 preliminary levy of $2.795 billion, a 4.5 percent increase.
Wilkin County’s 2021 preliminary levy is 1.5 percent higher than the final levy in 2020, at $8,511,320. In Minnesota, the 2021 preliminary levy for counties is $3.497 billion, also a 1.5 percent increase from the 2020 final levy.
Breckenridge School District has a 6.4 percent increase from last year’s final levy to the 2021 preliminary levy, with $1,549,045. In the state, schools have a 2021 preliminary levy of $3.384 billion, a 2.4 percent increase.
Along with the preliminary tax levies, the Minnesota Office of the State Auditor released a finances report detailing expenditures, revenue and debt. The report analyzed the finances of 1,622 towns in Minnesota to provide a detailed picture of the towns’ financial states prior to COVID-19.
The report found that over a five-year period, revenue was highest in 2019, followed by 2017 in Minnesota. The majority of revenue came from taxes, which generated 71.7 percent of the total.
Similarly, expenditures were highest in 2019, this time trailed by 2018s numbers. The majority of expenditures in 2019 went toward roads and bridges (64.6 percent) followed by general government (16.5 percent). Towns spent the least on the “all other public safety” category (1.6 percent).
In the West Central region, which includes Wilkin County, revenue increased by 2.1 percent while expenditures increased by 15.8 percent.
In 2019, the town of Breckenridge generated a total revenue of $91,927, and Wilkin County generated a total revenue of $1,205,649. The town’s expenditures in 2019 were $70,603, and the county’s expenditures were $1,223,643, just over their revenue.
The city of Breckenridge will hold its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 7, Wilkin County will hold its meeting on Thursday, Dec. 3 and Breckenridge School District will hold its meeting on Wednesday, Dec.16.