After reviewing levy calculations for the county in a special session Aug. 24, the Chippewa County commissioners approved a preliminary budget for 2011 at their regular meeting Sept. 7, reflecting a 3.26 percent increase over this year’s budget.


After reviewing levy calculations for the county in a special session Aug. 24, the Chippewa County commissioners approved a preliminary budget for 2011 at their regular meeting Sept. 7, reflecting a 3.26 percent increase over this year’s budget.

“The bottom line is we’re not spending a lot more money. We’ll be taxing for more money next year, but we’re just trying to recover what the state took away from us,” said Chippewa County Audi­tor/­Treasurer Jon Clauson.

The net tax, which is made up of the county revenue fund; the road and bridge fund; family services fund and the library fund, is projected at $7,604,607, an increase (of $240,191) over the 2010 net levy.

The county revenue fund makes up approximately 54 percent of the total net levy. It is estimated at $3,784,122, (9.74 percent) $375,201 over 2010.

The road and bridge fund levy is estimated at $1,211,080, a decrease of 6.78 percent ($81,973).

The family services fund levy shows a (2.3 percent) $49,702 drop from 2010.

The library fund is projected at $219,270, an increase of (1.46 percent) $3,191.

The county is allowed to levy outside of the state’s levy limit for certain items. This includes operation of the jail and economic development tax abatements.

The jail levy is projected at $971,227, an increase of $29,488. The economic development tax abatement is $10,000, which is $6,000 less than this year.

The county will also levy back $337,539 from 2010 state unallotments for program aid ($190,451) and market value credit ($147,088).

A summary of the operation budget for Chippewa County shows 2011 projected expenditures exceed projected revenues by $1,409,603. Revenues for 2011 are estimated at $14,713,397 (a decrease of $1,641,458 from 2010). Expenditures for 2011 are projected at $16,123,000 (a decrease of $1,194,521 from 2010).

Now that the commissioners have approved the preliminary numbers, the next step will be to calculate 2011 Truth in Taxation amounts from the valuations prepared by the assessor.

Clauson said the Truth in Taxation calculations will be determined by late October or early Novem­ber.

Preliminary property tax notices will then be sent to residents notifying them of their individual property tax amounts, with the proviso that all the indicated levies are approved.

Amounts will be calculated again in February just prior to actual 2011 property tax bills being sent to taxpayers.

“Most of our neighboring counties are seeing some significant reductions in county program aid,” Clauson said.

“I’m surprised, happily, that we’re not seeing the big bites that most of our neighbors are getting. I think there are only three or four counties that are seeing static program aid amounts, and everybody else is seeing fairly deep cuts.

“The question now,” he said, “is if we will actually get it (the professed program aid).”

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the state will not unallot more money, as they have done for the past two years.