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State Auditor Blaha Releases 2022 Town Finances Report

January 31, 2024

Saint Paul, MN – “Pandemic-related federal and state aid continued to boost township finances in 2022,” said Auditor Blaha. “State grants played a significant role in driving revenue growth, with an increase of 22.6% over the previous year.”

The 2022 data reveals increases in revenues and expenditures of 3.8 and 12.9 percent, respectively. Spending increased for major categories including general government, fire, public safety, roads, and bridges.

Notably, expenditures on debt service (including principal, interest, and fiscal charges) decreased by 5.9 percent from the reported amount in 2021, indicating a reduced reliance on debt by towns.

Current Trends

  • In 2022, Minnesota towns reported total revenues of $409.1 million. This amount represents a 3.8 percent increase over the total revenues reported in 2021.
  • Minnesota towns reported total expenditures of $381.3 million in 2022. This amount represents an increase of 12.9 percent over the amount reported in 2021.
  • Towns had debt service expenditures of $13.0 million in 2022. This amount represents a decrease of 5.9 percent from 2021.
  • Outstanding indebtedness totaled $74.4 million in 2022. This represents a decrease of 5.0 percent from 2021. Outstanding bonded indebtedness totaled $54.8 million in 2022, which represents a decrease of 6.4 percent from the $58.5 million outstanding in 2021.

Ten-Year Trends

  • Between 2013 and 2022, total town revenues in actual dollars increased 46.2 percent. In constant, or inflation adjusted, dollars, total town revenues increased 11.9 percent during this ten-year period.
  • Since 2013, the share of total revenues derived from taxes decreased from 76.4 percent in 2013 to 63.3 percent in 2022, and the share of total revenues derived from intergovernmental sources increased to 14.4 percent from 29.1 percent over that same period.
  • Between 2013 and 2022, total town expenditures in actual dollars increased 42.7 percent. In constant, or inflation-adjusted, dollars, total town expenditures increased 9.2 percent during the ten-year period.

The complete report, which includes an Executive Summary, graphs, and tables, is available on the OSA website.