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2024-25 proposed budget submitted to county board

Today, Ramsey County Manager Ryan O’Connor proposed the 2024-25 biennial budget to the board of commissioners. The budget was developed with a resident-centric focus by incorporating key learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and including extensive community feedback.

The county’s proposed budget for 2024 totals $813,395,192 which represents a 3.48% overall budget increase from 2023. The proposed budget would see a levy increase of 6.7%, driven by a shift away from federal and state one-time resources that were available during the emergency pandemic. The proposed budget for 2025 totals $841,793,172, with an 3.49% budget increase from 2024 and a maximum 4.75% levy increase that is proposed to be reduced once estimates for future marijuana sales tax revenue can be incorporated.

Important dates and next steps in the budget process

County Service Teams will present more details from their respective budgets Sept. 5-19 to the county board. Budget presentations will highlight major changes to programs and services, financial information, racial equity analyses and the influence of community engagement on the proposed budget. Presentations will be held in the Ramsey County Courthouse and available by livestream online.

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners will adopt a maximum tax levy on Sept. 26. The board is scheduled to vote on the final budget on Dec. 12.

Throughout the budget process, residents, businesses and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback via the Chief Clerk’s Office or at a public hearing.

  • Public Hearing 1 – Sept. 19, 4:30 p.m. at Saint Paul City Hall – Ramsey County Courthouse or online.
  • Public Hearing 2 – To be scheduled late November/early December. Location to be held in community and online.

The 2024 proposed budget was mitigated by a $6 million increase in county program aid from the state of Minnesota. This increased state aid provided a 1.76% levy decrease from initial budget planning targets and helped keep the county’s long term levy growth at a more moderate level. Looking at the period of 2015-2025, the annual average levy growth to Ramsey County taxpayers was 3.3% and from 2021-2025 (COVID era), the annual average levy growth was 3.5%.

During the pandemic, the county intentionally kept its property tax growth low by leveraging one-time federal relief dollars, making more than $20 million in operational cuts, and managing minimal operating budget increases. All of this was done while transforming service delivery to meet evolving community needs during a moment of historical significance. While not meant to be long-term budget solutions, the county made these strategic decisions during unprecedented economic times to offer additional support and relief to residents.

“We all know an enormous pressure was placed on communities and counties during the COVID-19 emergency response,” said Ramsey County Manager Ryan O’Connor. “The 2024-25 budget moves us beyond the pandemic. It reflects an inflection point for our community and the county as we take our learnings from the last several extremely challenging years and turn them into investments in people, partnerships and service delivery that will create a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable future.”

Investing in people, partnerships, and service delivery

The 2024-25 biennial budget invests in both those served by the county and those providing services to the residents, businesses, and visitors of Ramsey County. This includes making key investments in attracting and retaining top talent to work at the county to provide stellar service to residents. This also means investing in residents and businesses to meet the needs of the community and engaging and building trusting relationships with community to support healthy and safe communities for all.

This budget reflects the need to modernize systems to improve client access and service and deepen partnerships and collaborations with other agencies, organizations, and community. Continued investments are being made in power sharing and co-creation including work on bail reform, non-public safety traffic stops and the Appropriate Responses Initiative to name a few.

This budget also focuses on continuing to enhance service delivery and particularly finding the gaps and overlaps in how services are provided and increasing accessibility. Investments are focused on how the county rethinks its usage of space and technology and opportunities to collaborate with community. An excellent example of this is the county’s ongoing investments in its Service Centers. Located in Maplewood (inside the mall), Roseville (inside the Library) and Metro Square (downtown near light rail/major bus lines), each offers public access computers, free Wi-Fi, and a team of navigators equipped with information and resources to connect residents with all the services and resources the county has to offer in one location.

Learn more about the 2024-25 biennial budget

Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 - 9:03 a.m.