Taxes, assessments offset decreases for Minnesota counties

ST. PAUL – Minnesota county revenues from taxes, service charges, special assessments, licenses and permits offset other revenue decreases in 2012, according to the 2012 Minnesota County Finances Report released from State Auditor Rebecca Otto on Wednesday.

County revenues totaled $6 billion in 2012, an increase of $43.1 million or 0.7 percent, over 2011. Total reported expenditures of $6 billion were reported in 2012, $26.7 million more than 2011.

Outstanding long-term debt reported was $3.5 billion in 2012, a 1 percent decrease from 2011. Outstanding bonded debt was $3.3 billion while $243.1 million was other long-term debt.

County enterprises reported $6.9 million in operating losses in 2012, which is 131 percent lower than $22 million in operating losses reported in 2011. County enterprises net income was $26 million in 2012, down 53 percent from 2011.

Brown County Administrator Chuck Enter said the numbers show counties continue to remain fiscally conservative. “Our county commissioners approved a zero percent levy increase for this year and in 2012. In 2013, we had a 1.86 percent levy increase,” Enter said.

He added that it’s hard to tell what may be done in future years because state grants and aid are set by the Minnesota Legislature.

Enter said Brown County has had no bonded indebtedness since 2010 and that counties are required to have significant reserves because taxes are not required to be paid until the fall of the year.

To view the complete report, go to

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