County administrator proposes 2018 budget

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Media contact: 

David Hough, Hennepin County administrator, 612-348-4260
Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

County administrator proposes 2018 budget

Hennepin County Administrator David Hough on Tuesday proposed to the Board of Commissioners a 2018 budget of $2.4 billion. The operating portion of this budget totals $1.9 billion dollars, an increase of $180.9 million dollars from the adjusted 2017 budget.

The capital portion totals $433.3 million dollars, an increase of $99 million or 29.6 percent over the adjusted 2017 amount.

The net property tax levy proposed is $796.9 million, an increase of 4.95 percent compared to last year. Property tax covers 33 percent of the overall county budget. The remainder of the budget is funded through state and federal sources, fees and services, and other revenues.

Facing challenges

A growing population is a challenge the county faces. The regional population is expected to grow by more than 700,000 people by 2040. “Nonetheless, along with population growth the demands for services grow,” said Hough.

This requires staff to fulfill client responsibilities. “The cost of personnel, both salary and benefits, has increased,” said Hough. Personnel comprises nearly 34.5 percent of the operating budget.

New revenue

The budget includes sources of new revenues including a new sales and use transportation tax approved earlier this year that is $125 million annually to cover capital and operating costs of the county’s transportation vision and goals.

Capital budget

Some of the key drivers of the proposed 2018 capital budget include:

  • $150.0 million toward the advancement and construction of critical transitways including the Southwest Light Rail, Bottineau Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit Orange Line.
  • $75.0 million toward the county’s demonstrated office space shortfall including the potential purchase of the adjacent Thrivent office building for $55 million and a potential purchase of 332 parking spaces for approximately $11.5 million.
  • $18.0 million toward the Medical Center’s $108.8 million Surgery Center and In-patient Bed Consolidation projects, which will remodel space vacated by the opening of the new Clinic and Specialty Center in spring 2018.
  • $18.4 million toward the $67.6 million North Minneapolis Community Wellness Center.
  • $19.5 million toward the $69.0 million reconstruction of Flying Cloud Drive (CSAH 61) from the county line to Charlson Road.
  • $13.1 million toward the $63.8 million reconstruction of 66th Street (CSAH 53) from Xerxes Avenue South to Cedar Avenue

Budget hearing schedule

The board scheduled public hearings for adoption of the 2018 budget and levy, and set a schedule for the Budget and Capital Investment Committee to consider the proposed 2018 budget. 

The meetings will proceed as follows:

Board vote on 2018 maximum tax levy and budget
Tuesday, September 26, 1:30 p.m.

Monday, September 28, 1 - 4 p.m.

Thursday, October 5, 1 - 4 p.m.

Human Services
Tuesday, October 24, 9 a.m. - noon 

Public Works
Tuesday, October 31, 1 - 4 p.m.

Capital Budgeting Task Force and fees
Thursday, November 2, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Public Safety
Thursday, November 21, 9 a.m. to noon

Truth-in-Taxation public meeting
Tuesday, November 28, 6 p.m. Participants can park for free after 5 p.m. in the Government Center ramp. Enter on 3rd Avenue.

Commissioner amendments
Thursday, November 30, 9 - 11:30 a.m.

Commissioner amendments
Wednesday, December 6, 1 - 4 p.m.

County Board vote on 2018 budget and levy
Tuesday, December 12, 1:30 p.m. 

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