It's official:  St. Louis County has an approved operating budget for the next year.  During their last meeting on December 13, the St. Louis County Board voted unanimously to approve the 2023 budget set at $452,751,620.

The budget details the way that the county government will use the funds provided by the the property tax levy.  Approximately one-third of the revenue side of the budget is derived from the property tax levy; that levy was approved at $163.4 million, which represents a 4.39% increase from this past year.

Along with the general-line operating expenses included within, the budget also includes significant outlines for initiatives in the coming year. In a release announcing the approved budget, the county detailed some of those notable investments included in the 2023 version - including:

  • Funding employee salary and benefit commitments
  • Sustaining investments in mental health and substance use disorder services
  • Investing in enhanced medical services in the St. Louis County Jail
  • Provided for economic development
  • Makes investments in technology needs - including security
  • Ensures compliance with statutory requirements and the county's commitment to customer service and program effectiveness
  • Provides for strategic funding around current inflationary pressures

Included in that release from the county was an overall message to taxpayers from the Board.  That letter - included in the budget resolution - stated in part:

"Each year, the County strives to establish a budget that leverages its resources, complies with state and federal mandates, and meets the needs of the public.  The County's goal is to be an efficient, effective, responsive government for the residents of St. Louis County.

With the economy recovering (albeit still unevenly) as the pandemic persists, new issues have emerged that need to be addressed.  These include a shrinking labor market and more difficulty in keeping budgeted staff positions filled, rapidly escalating costs and supply disruptions for materials that affect capital construction projects, and increasing focus on recognizing and serving mental health needs within the community."

St. Louis County is the largest county east of the Mississippi River, and is home to approximately 200,000 people, spanning 7,000 square miles.

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