2022 Proposed budget and tax levy adopted

Karen Newman 

On December 14, 2021 a public Truth in Taxation meeting which was held to provide Clay County taxpayers with an opportunity to ask county department heads about future funding and tax levy concerns. At their December 21st scheduled meeting, the Clay Committee Commission took final action on the proposed 2022 budget and the proposed 2022 tax levy.

Administrator Stephen Larson and Auditor-Treasurer Lori Johnson (on-line) led the presentation asking the board to approve the proposed 2022 budget with overall totals. Larson said, “This morning is the culmination of a great deal of work that we’ve gone through for the budget project for the last roughly six months. The departments have completed their proposed budgets. County partners were asked to submit their financial requests of you in July and August.


· Total revenues for 2022: $98,587,215

· Total Expenditures for 2022: $100,091,536

· Excess of Revenues over (under) Expenditures ($1,504,321)

Prior to the vote to approve the budget, Larson cautioned, “It is important for our citizens to understand that this is not the levy dollar. The state and federal government have programs that the county carries out on their behalf. This is the total budget.”

The motion to adopt the 2022 total budget passed unanimously by the members present: Commissioners Gross, Campbell, Ebinger and Kahly. Commissioner Mongeau was absent.

Stephen Larson, Clay County Administrator presented the final tax levy numbers for the approval of the commission through Resolution 2021-57. The proposed levy for taxes for the new year is 3.82% increase over the 2021 budget.


·         Revenue Fund $22,779,705

·         Road and Bridge Fund 3,849,380

·         Building Improvements 45,323

·         Library 280,788

·         Social Services 11,181,746

·         Debt Retirement-RB 0

·         Debt Retirement-Courthouse 326,255

·         Debt Retirement-County Projects 75,282

·         TOTAL $38,538,479

Commission Chair Kevin Campbell expressed his intention to vote against adopting Resolution 2021-57. He declared, “I’m not going to vote for this levy.  I’m not going to vote for it because we are talking about levying for 2022 using our proposed 2021 as a base. Nowhere in there is actual…we haven’t even talked about what our revenues over expenditures are going to be for 2021.”  Campbell continued, “When we do a levy, included in our budget process, we set aside money that goes into a savings account, better known as ‘Internal Service Fund’ to help cover things. That is money already set aside within our budget.”

He concluded, “I am not going to vote for this levy because I dispute any spending. I’ve supported everything that we are spending. What I don’t support is asking our taxpayers to pay based on previous years’ information. That’s my vote and I am pointing out why.”

The resolution passed with three votes to adopt from Commissioners Gross, Ebinger and Kahly voting in the affirmative. Commission Campbell voted no.  Commissioner Mongeau was absent.

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