ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County will spend nearly $3,800,000 more in 2017 than this year. Commissioners have approved the 2017 preliminary budget and levy at today's (Tuesday's) board meeting.

The budget for next year is more than $136,000,000 in total, an increase of 2.84%.

The resulting property tax levy is an increase of 3.66%. However, Stearns County's tax base will increase by 2.7% next year meaning the tax rate for taxpayers will be an increase of just under 1%.

The increase in spending comes primarily from mandated services in the Human Services Department, approximately $1,700,000 more in 2017.