The State of Minnesota has 87 counties. Ramsey County is the smallest in land area, encompassing less than 170 square miles. St. Louis County has the largest land area with over 6,000 square miles. County populations vary from over 1,000,000 in Hennepin County to 4,100 in Traverse County.
Law provides: Counties are governed by a board of commissioners and administrative officers elected by the people to four-year terms; alternate forms of government may be adopted, chiefly to allow for an elected executive, a manager or administrator, or appointive administrative officers. (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 375A)
Functions: Counties are responsible for property tax assessment, tax administration, elections, record keeping, transportation, planning and zoning, solid waste management, environment, parks and water management, law enforcement, courts, and health and human services.
Additional information about Minnesota’s 87 counties is available from the Association of Minnesota Counties, 125 Charles Ave., St. Paul 55103-2108, (651)224-3344, www.mncounties.org. Links to county web sites can be found at index.aspx?page=53. For a list of all county officials click here.
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