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Dave Olson, Published December 22 2010

Clay County approves levy increase

Clay County residents will see an increase in the county portion of their property taxes in 2011.

The $24.3 million tax levy set Tuesday by the Clay County Commission is up 4.45 percent from the previous levy.

Because the county’s tax base has grown by about 2 percent, the net tax increase on properties will be about 2.45 percent, though the percentage increase on specific properties will vary because of the formula used to determine taxes.

According to numbers available Tuesday, the tax increase on a $150,000 home in Moorhead will be $8.72.

For a home with the same value in Barnesville, the increase will be $143.98. For a home in Dilworth, the increase will be $19.67.

A $150,000 home in Oakport Township will see taxes go up $20.30.

The county’s total budget in 2011 will be about

$61.4 million.

Clay County Commission Chairman Kevin Campbell said the jump in the levy is due to several factors, including higher health insurance costs and a 2 percent pay bump for those county employees who didn’t see a pay increase in 2010.

He said no pay increases are contemplated for 2012.

The raises approved for next year extend to elected officials.

Campbell said part of the increase in the tax levy will go to raise about $335,000 for a rainy day fund in case the state makes more cuts to local government aid.

Clay County has made more than $1.1 million in budget cuts to offset reductions in local government aid.

Clay OKs pay raise for some officials

The Clay County Commission on Tuesday approved a 2 percent pay increase for many county employees and elected officials.

Employees who were a member of a union that received a boost in pay in 2010 are not included in the 2011 pay increase.

The following are the 2011 salaries with the pay increase:

County Attorney Brian Melton, $110,043; County Auditor/

Treasurer Lori Johnson, $103,152; County Recorder Bonnie Rehder, $74,069; County Sheriff Bill Bergquist, $100,685.

Campbell and fellow County Commissioner Jerry Waller will receive a salary of $25,728.

Commissioners Jon Evert, Grant Weyland and Wayne Ingersoll will receive a salary of $26,215.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555