The Hot Beat


The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him:

Supes to finalize budget Thursday

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Linn County Board of Supervisors will certify the county’s 2009-2010 budget Thursday after a 10 a.m. public hearing.

The budget will be $116.5 million, with general fund expenditures increasing by 2.3 percent to $60 million.

The largest part of the budget is salaries and benefits for county employees, about $57 million. The county will have 828 full-time employees in the fiscal year beginning July 1, an increase of four over the previous year’s budget.

Management and elected officeholder salaries have been frozen by the Board of Supervisors, but rank-and-file county employees, some 600 in the union bargaining units, will get 3 percent or 3.5 percent raises.

An uptick in the property tax rollback, though, will allow for a decrease in property tax rates.

The countywide levy rate will be $5.96 per $1,000 of property value, down from $6.15.

The owner of a home worth $100,000 will pay $272 in property taxes to the county. The owner of farmland worth $300,000 will pay $2,903 in property taxes.

The levy rate cut cancels out the rise in property taxes that would have been caused by taxable property values growing 4.3 percent countywide and 4.6 percent in rural areas.

Taxable values increased because the rollback, a discount that makes only a certain percentage of property value taxable, increased from 44 percent to 45.6 percent for homes and from 90 percent to 100 percent for agricultural property. The rollback had been dropping for decades.

“In the last 15 years that I’ve been here, it’s never gone up,” Dawn Jindrich, Linn County’s budget director, said.

For Cedar Rapids residents, county taxes are the smallest part of the property tax bill.

On each $1,000 of taxable property value, residents now pay $36.86 in property taxes. Eighty percent of those tax dollars goes either to the city of Cedar Rapids or the Cedar Rapids school district.

The Cedar Rapids School Board has agreed to a levy rate of $14.49 per $1,000 taxable valuation. The Cedar Rapids City Council is looking at budget options right this moment. (3-10-09, 5 p.m.)

Filed under: County Government, , , ,

One Response

  1. Dave says:

    Thanks for the thorough treatment of a sometimes complicated issue!

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