Barron County’s annual budget for 2021 was approved on Nov. 2. The Barron County Board of Supervisors approved the $67.2 million budget and $22.2 million property tax levy.

Breaking down the budget by departments, the top departments are the highway department ($17.0 million); department of health and human services ($15.9 million); general fund departments, such as the county administration, circuit courts, district attorney, county clerk, county treasurer and register of deeds ($10.7 million); sheriff’s department ($9.0 million) and special revenue funds, such as specific public health and social service funds, Aging and Disability Resource Center funds ($5.7 million). These departments make up 87 percent of the budget.

Next year’s budget is two percent larger than the 2020 budget. 

Balancing the budget

The county’s property tax levy will account for $22.2 million of the budget, up 1.11 percent from 2020. But due to the county’s evaluation increasing 4.62 percent to $4.6 billion, the mill rate is will drop. In 2020 the mill rate was 5.05 and in 2021 it will be 4.87.

The county’s sales tax (0.5 percent) is expected to bring in $4.72 million in 2021, of which about $3.70 million is used to offset the levy, with the remainder used to offset 2022’s levy.

Other revenue, such as from shared taxes from the state, fees for housing out-of-county prisoners, and social service funds and highway department work generate revenues for the remainder of the budget.