Burleigh and Morton Approve County Budgets

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People all over North Dakota will see an increase in property taxes next year.

“What legislature did in 2017, they opted not to fund the additional property tax buy-down,” said Burleigh County finance director Clyde Thompson.

Instead, the funding went to a pilot program to takeover Social Services.

Thompson added, “That’s going to affect every property tax owner, not only in Burleigh County but statewide.”

In Burleigh county, residents will see about a 9% increase. In Morton, there will be a 3.4% increase in Mandan, and outside city limits, residents will see a 4.3% increase. Commission Chairman Cody Schulz is confident this will only be a one-time thing. 

“We truly believe that this budget as well as the state funding we’re getting is sustainable. Especially associated with our continued growth. So, our hope is that this is a one off year where we had to slightly increase taxes,” said Schulz.

Both overall county budgets did see an increase. In Morton, It’s to fund a new courtroom and its staff. And Thompson says in Burleigh its a slightly similar situation with the opening of the new joint jail.

“The staffing needs projected for 2018 would probably be one of the major increases in the overall general fund budget.”

This is the first time in 6 years Morton County has had to increase their property taxes. Schulz says the Morton County commission is a fiscally conservative one and is focused on balance.

He added, “I think we were able to balance some of the concerns and demands of services that our constituents have with our goal of keeping taxes as low as possible, and I think this budget strikes that balance.”

Schulz also mentioned the impact DAPL protests had on the 2018 budget. Saying staffing in the state’s attorney’s office has been affected as well as the replacement of equipment that was used during the months of protest.

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