ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County residents shouldn't expect sticker shock when they get their property tax statement next year if commissioners approve the proposed 2016 budget.

County Administrator George Rindelaub says while they are proposing a 1.2% spending increase and a levy increase of just over 2.8%, the county's tax base is expanding by about 4%. That increased tax base would offset the spending and levy increases and actually drop the county's tax rate by 3.5%.

If your property valuation went up for 2016, you would pay a few dollars more on the county portion of your taxes according to Rindelaub.  But, he says many valuations stayed flat or only went up slightly.

A majority of the proposed spending increase next year comes from added pressure on the human services department. The human services budget increase is estimated at about $1,400,000 in 2016. Rindelaub says they are handling more cases of mental illness and more outside placement of children due to things like delinquency, neglect and abuse.

Stearns County's proposed budget for 2016 is $132,545,000.