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Hastings, MN (KROC AM News) - It may be hard for some to believe but there is a Minnesota county government that is debt-free.

According to a Dakota County commissioner, his county has been free of debt for five years.

Commissioner Joe Atkins says by avoiding high-interest payments on IOUs, his county is able to maintain “the lowest county property taxes per person of any county in Minnesota.”

Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins/ Dakota County
Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins/ Dakota County
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Atkins says the average debt for Twin Cities metro area counties is over $200-million. Watkins says Dakota County is one of the only county governments in the country that is debt-free. Dakota County has the third-highest population total of all counties in the state.

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Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins
Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins
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A check with the Olmsted County finance department on its debt total brought this response:

According to the Olmsted County Finance Department, as of April 1, 2022, the county (excluding Olmsted County HRA) has outstanding bonds totaling $164,595,000. Included in this amount are $26,520,000 of 2022A Crossover Refunding Bonds that were issued in March of 2022 from which those proceeds (held in escrow) will refund the outstanding balance of the 2015A bonds on February 1, 2025.

The above outstanding bond total includes all county bonds held in both governmental type and proprietary type funds (excluding Olmsted County HRA).

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