Adopted Fiscal Year 2021 Budget-in-Brief A great place to live, work and play… today and tomorrow

Washington County is committed to sound fiscal management and financial reporting. Developing the annual county budget emphasizes providing sufficient funding for high-quality services and programs. The Budget-in-Brief is a condensed description of Washington County government and its budget. The county’s fiscal year runs January 1 through December 31.

Where the Money Comes From

Revenues for use by Washington County come from many different sources, affected by an array of outside agencies, including state and federal legislation and financial changes. County growth, historical and current trends, and potential legislative changes are considered when estimating county revenues.

2021 Major Revenue Sources: $288,516,400

Property Taxes ($116.4M) is the amount that is collected from property owners to support the county budget ($114.5M), the Land & Water Legacy Program ($1.2M), and the Regional Rail budget ($660,000).

Intergovernmental Revenues ($80.3M) are funds received from the state, federal, or cities governments for specific projects or programs.

Fees for Services ($16.2M) are revenues generated from charges for services the county provides.

Miscellaneous Revenues ($14.1M) are those not accounted for in other categories, such as interest earnings on the county’s investments, rent revenues, collections from accounts due the county, donations and contributions, and revenues received from fines and penalties imposed for statutory offenses.

Other Taxes ($24.9M) consist of delinquent tax collections, mobile home taxes, mortgage registry taxes, gravel taxes, wheelage tax, and all cost, penalty, and interest assessed in the collection of taxes.

County Program Aid ($11.5M) is general purpose aid given to the county by the State of Minnesota and is intended to reduce property taxes for individual taxpayers.

Licenses & Permits ($5.2M) are revenues from all businesses and occupations which are licensed to do business in the county.

Other Financing Sources ($19.9M) includes use of bond proceeds, planned use of fund balance, and loan receipts.

Where the Money Goes

Washington County organizes its expenditures into categories based on the intended use of funds.

2021 Major Expenditure Categories: $288,516,400

Health & Community Services ($67.6M) - Costs of emergency preparedness, household hazardous waste, child protection, social services, veterans’ services, job training, and food and medical care for people in need.

Streets & Highways ($78.4M) - Costs of maintenance and repair of local highways, streets, bridges, and road construction. Also includes capital road and bridge projects funded through bond proceeds.

Public Safety ($59.1M) - Costs to protect persons and property, combining Sheriff, Corrections, and Attorney.

General Government ($48.0M) - Administrative costs of county government, including Administration, Accounting & Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Property Records & Taxation, and Building Services.

Debt Service ($15.9M) - Principal payments on bonded debt, as well as interest and fiscal charges.

Culture & Recreation ($15.1M) - Costs of Libraries, Parks, and the county’s Land and Water Legacy Program.

Other Capital Outlay ($4.4M) - Major capital improvements to county facilities, such as roof replacements, and cooling and heating upgrades.

How We Compare

Washington County is part of the “7-County Metropolitan Area.” The most recent data (2020), as provided by each county to the Minnesota State Auditor’s Office, identifies Washington County as having one of the best rankings in the metro area, as well as statewide, in each of the following categories. Similar rankings are anticipated for 2021.

Washington County 2021 Budget

Net Levy excludes Regional Rail Authority and Land & Water Legacy Program levies. Per capita information is based on the most current estimated population for 2019 of 262,748.

Washington County Board of Commissioners

Five commissioners are elected from five districts on a non-partisan basis for staggered four-year terms. The County Administrator is appointed by the Board.

More Information

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