After several months of number crunching and budget cuts, the Dakota County Commissioners approved the budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 during their meeting Monday, Sept. 11.
The county's tax levy, after dropping almost a penny last year, went up by seven cents this year to $0.398783 taxed per $100 of property valuation. This means that a home valued at $100,000 would pay $398.78 in county taxes, which is an increase in $70 from last year to this year.
The county had to implement a hiring and wage freeze, cut jobs, and cut 10 percent from various departments to account for the tight budget.
Clerks from the treasury department attended the meeting Monday to discuss their disapproval of the budget due to the wage freeze.
The clerks expressed their frustration with the County Commissioners for spending money on things such as road graders, but they didn't receive their two percent raise for the second time in six years.
Head Commissioner Scott Love called it a problem of cash flow.
“If I'm still around next year, I'll do everything in my power to get you guys some more money,” he said to the clerks. “We need good people like you to make a living wage.”
Joan Spencer, county clerk, said that cash flow problems are “hard to overcome.”
“I would say we'll be battling this for eight to 10 years,” she estimated.