Stutsman County property taxpayers will see a decrease in the county's share of taxes when the tax statements are distributed this fall.
The Stutsman County Commission approved using uncommitted reserves from the general fund to reimburse the county's emergency fund on Wednesday at a special meeting.
Earlier budget plans had included a 3.29 mill levy increase to reimburse the emergency fund. The county can utilize the emergency fund only when an emergency has been declared. This summer, the fund has been used to pay for road repairs and grade raises necessitated by flooding last fall and this spring.
The early budget included a decrease of about 3.29 mills to the general fund so that the county's property tax levy would remain steady from last year. Now, with the elimination of the mill levy for the emergency fund, the county's mill rate will decline about 3.3 mills, said Nicole Meland, county auditor and chief operating officer.
A decline of 3.3 mills is a reduction in taxes of about $15 for every $100,000 in residential property valuation.
Meland told the commission the change did not include any reduction in spending and reduced the county's reserves in the future.
A public hearing on the county budget is scheduled for Oct. 6. The commission will act to finalize the budget after that hearing.
In other business, the county commission created a seven-member committee to begin the process of hiring a replacement for Meland, who has resigned effective Oct. 2. The committee includes two commissioners and five heads of county departments and will begin with the task of reviewing and updating the job description for county auditor and chief operating officer.