The Lake County Commission is again considering a new tax levy to help with improvements for the county’s highways and bridges. Commissioners on Tuesday heard the 2021 budget request from Highway Superintendent Nels Nelson, who outlined several areas where he asked for the highway department’s budget to be increased for next year. Auditor Bobbi Janke told commissioners that in order to meet the needs of the highway department’s budget, the county would need to do a cash operating transfer of more than one-point-seven-million dollars. She said that’s well above what the county is capable of doing at this time. Janke said she doesn’t have all of the county’s 2021 budget information and numbers available yet, but provided information to commissioners regarding the tax that could be levied each year for maintenance, repair, and construction of roads and bridges.
The Lake County Commission passed a resolution to impose a similar tax levy in 2017, which was later referred to a vote and defeated in a special election.
Commission Chair Kelli Wollmann said it’s something she’d like to see the commission consider again.
Wollmann said that work needs to continue on the county’s roads.
The county has the option of levying an annual tax of up to ninety cents per thousand dollars of taxable valuation, which is the amount commissioners wanted to levy three years ago. Commissioners have to decide on whether or not to go forward with the resolution and for what amount by July 15th. Commissioner Deb Reinicke made a motion Tuesday to hold a special commission meeting next Tuesday to discuss the county road levy resolution. That motion passed unanimously.