Faribault County levy hike: 4.75%

BLUE EARTH — Faribault County commissioners on Tuesday set a preliminary tax levy for 2018.

The board set the preliminary budget at $22.3 million, with a 4.75 percent property tax levy increase.

One item that stuck out to the board was Human Services, which is currently at a 14.5 percent increase.

“When you look at these numbers, that’s the thing that’s eating all the lunch,” said County Commissioner Tom Loveall.

While Human Services is a large expense, Auditor John Thompson said the budget for it cannot be changed due to the fact that the department is shared with Martin County.

With the preliminary levy set at 4.75 percent, Thompson said the budget will continue to be worked on until December, and that it may be possible to bring it down a percent. As of now, Thompson said, there is no specific department or expense that immediately jumps out. The plan right now, he said, is to work to identify what in the budget can be reduced.