Ramsey County Manager Ryan O’Connor proposed to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners a biennial budget of $772.8 million for 2022 and $781.9 million for 2023 on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021.
This represents a 3.2% increase of $24 million in 2022 and a 1.2% increase of $9 million in 2023.
“This proposed budget sustains and scales the transformative change initiatives launched in 2020-2021 to drive Ramsey County ahead as a people-centered organization that is equipped for continual adaptation and excellence in service of our community,” said O’Connor. “As we continue to fight through and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, this budget provides support for our residents, businesses and other stakeholders – with a focus on those who are the most vulnerable – while incorporating the lessons and improvements from this past year-and-a-half to our service delivery, community engagement and racial equity.”
About 43% of the proposed 2022 budget is funded through property taxes. The 2022-2023 budget calls for an increase in Ramsey County’s property tax levy of 1.55% ($5.1 million) in 2022 and 4.54% ($15.1 million) in 2023.
During last year’s 2021 supplemental budget process, commissioners voted to reduce a proposed property tax increase of 4.5% for 2021 to 0% as an adjustment to community impacts following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Property taxes are calculated and levied based on properties’ market values. In the proposed 2022 budget, the owner of a median-valued single-family home in Saint Paul ($228,700) would pay an additional $112 per year in county taxes on a projected property value increase of $12,900. Roseville median-valued single-family home values ($296,500) are close to the average of median-valued single-family homes in Ramsey County’s suburbs; Roseville owners would pay an additional $153 per year in county tax on an estimated property value increase of $15,900.
The other primary revenue sources in 2022 are intergovernmental revenue at $225.2 million (29% of total revenue) and charges for services at $153.8 million (20% of total revenue). The proposed budget also includes $20.15 million in federal (intergovernmental) American Rescue Plan Act funding. The 2022-2023 budget is the first to utilize the levy authority of the county’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) – approximately $11.1 million will be raised in each year to support affordable housing and other initiatives outlined in Ramsey County’s Economic Competitiveness and Inclusion Plan (ramseycounty.us/EconomicInclusion).
“The board looks forward to reviewing this proposed budget in detail in the weeks and months ahead,” said Budget Chair Victoria Reinhardt. “In each budget, we strive to balance needed services with our community’s ability to pay for them. We encourage every resident, business and community stakeholder to provide their feedback throughout this 2022-2023 budget process - we value and rely on your input.”
The 2022-2023 budget includes sustained funding for transformative change initiatives introduced in the 2020-2021 budget, as well as new funding for “Foundational Excellence”, a related initiative that dedicates resources to meet community expectations through operational supports.
Detailed budget documents that outline these initiatives are available at ramseycounty.us/Budget.
In addition to O’Connor’s presentation, Ramsey County Assessor Luis Rosario presented a mid-year update on property values, Ramsey County Auditor/Treasurer Heather Bestler discussed property tax trends, Policy & Planning Director Elizabeth Tolzmann provided an update on community indicators, and CFO Alex Kotze presented a 2021 financial overview and fund balance report.
The County Manager will lead a community conversation on the 2022-2023 proposed budget on Aug. 30, 2021. A session for county employees will also be offered that day.
In addition, Service Teams will present their budgets to the county board between Sept. 9 and 14; presentations will be livestreamed through ramseycounty.us.
The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners will adopt a maximum tax levy on Sept. 21 and is scheduled to vote on a final budget Dec. 14, 2021.
Throughout the budget process, residents, businesses and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback via the Chief Clerk’s Office or at two public hearings: