County Board approves 2008 maximum tax levy, sets Truth in Taxation hearing for Dec. 6:

The Hennepin County Board approved a maximum tax levy for 2008, as required by state law.  The net levy – coming from property taxes in the county – could increase by 6.98 percent over 2007, or a total of $604.6 million.  The maximum levy can be lowered by the board during its fall budget deliberations.

An amendment also was approved proposing that the country administrator take into account the financial impact of any legislation passed in a 2007 special legislative session and commit to a levy that would be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis for any increase in County Program Aid, and to propose options for the board to consider in reducing the levy and/or bonding for highway projects for any increase in highway revenue.

An additional amendment directs the county administrator to prepare an alternate budget with a levy of 5 percent, so effects of either levy can be part of budget discussions this fall.

County Administrator Richard Johnson will present the proposed 2008 Hennepin County budget and tax levy to the board Tuesday, Sept. 25.  Before making a final decision on 2008 taxes and next year’s budget, the board will hold a series of hearings, which are open to the public.

The board scheduled Hennepin’s Truth in Taxation public hearing for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, in the Board Room on the 24th Floor of the Government Center. The final 2008 county budget and levy are expected to be adopted at the board’s Tuesday, Dec. 18, meeting.