County okays budget with 4.3 percent levy increase

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Swift County’s Board of Commissioners adopted a 4.3 percent increase in the property tax levy for 2017 raising it by nearly $610,00 to $10,382,921 at its Dec. 19 meeting.

At the same time, the county approved a budget for next year that projects $24,811,217 in revenues and $24,635,544 in expenditures – resulting in a budget surplus of $175,673. The 2016 budget called for $20,088,623 in revenues and expenses of $21,102,723 – a deficit of $444,458. However, the county was able to manage its expenses in 2016 and finished in the black.

A good share of the increase in the 2017 revenues and expenses is due to highway projects scheduled for next year including major work on Swift County Highway 6. Highway spending will be up $3.6 million in 2017 to $11,290,830 accounting for 46 percent of the total spending next year.

Most of the county’s money for road and bridge projects comes from state and federal highway dollars. The $1.905 million to be raised in revenue through local taxes next year accounts for just 9.5 percent of the $11.543 million in highway revenues the county will take in.

Local property taxes make up 43 percent of the county’s revenues in 2017 compared to 50 percent in 2016 even though they have increased by $609,264 over last year. That change is primarily due to the additional highway funds coming into the county next year.
Swift County is also seeing increasing costs in its Human Services department as it has to add case workers and at the Sheriff’s Department as it has to add staff to its jail. Another cost the county is budgeting for in 2017 is a human resources (HR) director at a cost of around $72,000.

However, as the county board reviewed its final levy and budget approval for 2017, going ahead with a HR coordinator in 2017 wasn’t a unanimous decision....


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