The Dakota County Board voted Tuesday, Dec. 15, to keep the county property tax levy flat in 2021 as the board approved next year’s county budget. The operating budget is $293.5 million, and it includes funding to support services for residents and continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The operating budget leaves most spending unchanged from 2020 and will help the county respond to uncertainties in 2021, including the pandemic, state financial support to counties and the economic recovery. In addition to a freeze on the property tax levy for 2021, the board voted to not collect a Regional Rail Authority tax levy. This will be the third year of no Regional Rail Authority property tax collections.

The 2021 property tax levy was set at $144.6 million. Dakota County will have the lowest county tax per capita in Minnesota for the sixth-straight year, and its tax rate will remain the lowest of the seven metro counties.

Board Chair Mike Slavik said the county has made difficult budget decisions that keep the property tax levy flat next year. That will help the many residents and businesses hurting due to the pandemic.

“This is just one of the ways we as a county can serve our residents in a time of great challenge,” Slavik said.

Under the approved budget and levy, a typical Dakota County home valued at $291,800 that sees a 4.5 percent increase in market value will pay about $11 less in county tax next year. Agricultural, commercial and industrial property that sees modest market value increases also will pay less in county property tax.

All county spending, including the operating budget and capital improvement projects such as road construction and building maintenance, will total $425.8 million, a decrease of 6.1 percent from 2020 spending.

For more information, visit www.dakotacounty.us, search budget.

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