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County Lowers Tax Rate Another Dime
Increases Investments in Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Public Safety

A dime: that is how much the county property tax rate was reduced when the Washington County Board of Supervisors adopted County Administrator Josh Schoemann's 2020 recommended budget and tax levy.

The County's general levy property tax rate will decline from $2.39 per $1,000 in 2019 to $2.29 per $1,000. The budget reduces the tax rate for the sixth consecutive year while the levy itself, the amount of total taxes collected, remains lower than a decade ago. The table below shows the 2020 tax reduction for average home values.

2019 2020 $ Change % Change
$150K Home $359 $344 $(15) -4.18
$225K Home $538 $516 $(22.50) -4.18
$350K Home $838 $803 $(35) -4.18

"All new property taxes collected, plus some, in this budget have been allocated to the Sheriff's office." said County Administrator Joshua Schoemann. "Our highest priority is 'safe and secure communities' so we invested in public safety. We also reallocated property taxes from parks. Now users of the parks pay for new amenities ready to be built in 2020.

These budget also is designed to:
• Ensure all roads are adequately maintained through a fully-funded thirty-year plan
• Not issue any new debt
• Invest in opioid treatment and a new drug treatment court
• Partner with the state on new prosecutors
• Maintain a one-day mental health evaluation for uninsured or state insured residents
• Utilize park fees to add new amenities and increase investments into our park system
• Increase funding for elderly meal programs providing a safe, nutritious lunch
• Provide safety and new programing for our children in foster care
• Reduce the reliance on the County's savings account

"By focusing on our priorities, this budget lives within the taxpayer's means," added Schoemann. "Since I have been County Administrator, the Board has cut the levy nearly $3 million, reduced the number of county employees, and reprioritized spending to areas such as the Sheriff's Office and Highway Department"

The County also has a local bridge aid and library services levy; both of which remain flat and also see a reduced tax rate. The 2020 budget summary and full adopted budget is available on the County's website.