Commission  begins trimming proposed budget
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Commission begins trimming proposed budget

Nov 26, 2023

Aug 2, 2023

A projected property-tax increase of nearly 10% was a bit much for Ward County commissioners, who began carving away at spending in a 2024 preliminary budget Tuesday.

“I’m not comfortable with this. We’ve got a fair bit of discussion to do to trim this,” Chairman John Fjeldahl told fellow commissioners after receiving the $61.66 million proposed budget. The current budget is $56.87 million.

Commissioners began the trimming Tuesday in voting to cut back the proposed levy for the Ward County Water Resources Board. The commission voted to reduce the board’s $950,000 request to $742,055, which would hold the mill levy at the same 2 mills as was levied this year. The reduction cut .56 of a mill.

As the proposed budget stands, the average home valued at $225,000 would pay a county property tax of about $655, up from $601. The average quarter of agricultural land would be taxed $313, up from $270.

The commission meets Thursday to continue to work on lowering the budget, which now spends about $61.45 million. The property tax of $23.2 million to be levied remains an increase from $20.36 million this year.

The commission has until Aug. 10 to approve a preliminary budget. Once approved, the commission still can adjust the spending downward, but not upward.

A public hearing on the preliminary budget has been set for Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

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