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Wadena Board holds Truth in Taxation public hearing

The Wadena County Board held its annual required Truth in Taxation meeting Dec. 19 in the courthouse auditorium.

All commissioners, the auditor/treasurer, and six department heads attended, along with ten members of the public and two representatives of the news media.

The purpose of the public hearing was to give an opportunity for auditor/treasurer Judy Taves to explain tax changes and for the public to ask questions about the county's budget. She prepared and distributed several handouts about taxes and local government expenses and explained changes in Minnesota sales tax law that would take effect in 2014.

County engineer Ryan Odden explained the new local option one-half percent sales tax, which will go into effect in Wadena County on April 1.

Commissioner Ron Noon emphasized that the new local option sales tax allowed the county to reduce its property tax levy by two percent for 2013, to $7,747,775, payable 2014.

Commissioner Rodney Bounds praised county department heads for maintaining a zero-increase budget for 2014 over 2013 for most departments. This was done in spite of increases in labor costs.

After questions were asked by the public and answered by officials, the meeting was adjourned by Board Chair Dave Hillukka.