Hennepin County Administrator David Hough proposed a 2020 budget of $2.5 billion, including a net property tax levy of $869 million, an increase of 4.75% compared to 2019, to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 17, according to a news release from the county and county budget documents.
Property taxes cover 35% of Hennepin County's budget. The rest of county's funding comes from federal and state sources, fees and services, and other revenues, the release says.
Hough said the county is operating in "extremely challenging times," with many internal and external pressures including drug addiction and mental illness, aging infrastructure, housing affordability and election security that must be funded even as state and federal funding for such issues have not kept pace with the necessary work. The proposal includes funding for 36 more full-time employees, up 0.4% from 2019, the budget proposal says. The county currently has around 9,100 employees.
A news release from Hennepin County outlined some of the largest items on the budget:
- $284 million for light rail transit infrastructure
- $78 million for libraries and general office facilities
- $71 million for road, bridge and trail infrastructure
- $27 million for public safety and judiciary facilities and infrastructure
- $26 million for health facilities like NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Regional Medical Examiner’s Facility and Hennepin County Medical Center
- $9 million for environment and energy, community works investments and public works facilities
The proposed budget and tax levy kicks off a process of county departments coming to make their budget pitches over the next two months. The county board will have their Truth-in-Taxation public hearing at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3. The final budget will be approved at the Dec. 12 board meeting.