ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County is considering a 2019 budget that would spend just under $140-million, an increase of 3.5% over last year. Another $20-million in highway construction capital and some project fund spending pushes the total budget to just under $161-million.

County Administrator Mike Williams says the good news is that county is seeing strong growth.

Total expenditures will be up about 3.5% and our revenues other than property tax don't quite match that only about 3.2%. So, that causes an increase in the tax levy of 3.79%.  As with other years, human services is driving a big part of that.

Williams says the property tax levy increase is just under $3-million.

The budget includes new staff positions in the county attorney's office, the jail, child protection services, and human resources.

The big picture means if your homestead property valuations don't increase, you shouldn't see an increase in the county portion of your property tax. However, Williams says most home valuations are expected to go up for 2019.

The county board will look to adopt the preliminary 2019 budget at the September 18th meeting.  The truth-in-taxation hearing will be held November 27th.