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EDC in WIllmar, Minn., to leave tax levy the same for fourth year in a row

WILLMAR -- For the fourth year in a row, the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission has opted for no change in its property tax levy.

Board members voted this week to leave the levy for the 2013 budget at the same level it has been for the past three years -- $455,000.

The EDC continues to take an austere approach to spending, said Steve Renquist, executive director of the Economic Development Commission.

But the agency will probably use most or all of its $508,500 budget this year, and is contemplating a spending increase next year, he said.

About $53,000 of reserve fund money will be tapped to meet spending needs this year, Renquist said. "This will probably be the first year we haven't added to those reserves."

The volunteer committees that help carry out the Economic Development Commission's work on initiatives ranging from business retention to marketing have already been told to expect no increase next year in the amount of money allocated to them, Renquist said.

The property tax levy, the main source of revenue for the Economic Development Commission, must be certified to Kandiyohi County by Sept. 15.

A line-item budget for 2013 is being drafted and will be presented to the joint operations board within the next couple of months, Renquist said.

He said there will be few changes -- but suggested a 3 percent increase in spending. This would put the budget at $523,000. It also would require dipping further into the reserve fund to make up the difference between tax levy revenue and projected spending.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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