FERGUS FALLS -- Otter Tail County commissioners are facing a levy on county taxpayers of $42.3 million as part of the proposed net property tax for the payable year of 2020. The percentage, now at 5.33 percent, can go lower but not higher.

“The final decision must be made after the public hearing on Dec. 3,” notes County Auditor-Treasurer Wayne Stein.

The county board has worked in recent weeks to reduce the percentage of tax increase for 2020 prior to the public meeting scheduled for early December.

Included in the budget, Stein noted, are county taxpayer funds for the land service division that includes the county assessor’s office, county recorder’s office and geographic information systems. The finance division includes the office of the auditor-treasurer, elections and licensing, County taxpayers also fund community services that includes public health, assistance to military veterans etc. Public works includes highways, land and resource management and solid waste.

Law enforcement includes the sheriff office and internal services includes administration, human services, facilities operations and emergency management. The county attorney’s office is its own division.

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Property tax funds are also used to fund many of the services provided by the auditor-treasurer’s office, licensing, elections, county attorney, assessor, recorder and land services.

Meeting

The official Otter Tail County levy and budget public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the county government services center in northwest Fergus Falls, just west of the former Regional Treatment Center campus.