The City Council will conduct a public hearing on the proposed Fiscal Year City maximum property tax levy on Monday, February 10th at 7:00 p.m. Proposed Property Tax Levy
Last year the Iowa legislature changed state law that changed the process cities are required to use when filing their annual operating budgets. Step one in that new process is to notify their citizens of the maximum dollar amount ’increase’ in the total dollar amount of property taxes that can be collected by the City in their proposed budget. Under the new law, if that increased dollar amount exceeds more than a 2% increase over the previous year’s property tax collections, the local government (either City or County) must hold an additional public hearing wherein they must publically answer why they exceeded the prescribed maximum 2% increase. Also new this year, City/ County governments are required to post notice of the maximum property tax levy in local newspapers and on all City social media outlets.
Last year the overall taxable valuation of all property subject to property tax in Council Bluffs increased 1.35%. This increase is attributable to new property on the tax roll and/ or a County Assessor increase in valuation for properties that had already paid taxes. If the Council passes the City’s fiscal year 2021 budget as it currently is proposed, the City will collect 1.25% more in overall dollars next year than it did last year. This increase is slightly less than the actual increase in Council Bluffs’ total taxable valuation, and it is substantially below the newly prescribed State maximum allowable 2% increase. Once the maximum property tax levy paperwork is filed, the City can not increase tax collections over the reported maximum. Because of that rule, the City built in a cushion of an additional 0.5% bringing the total maximum levy to 1.75% in case the City Council voted to increase the suggested levy (1.25%) that is being proposed by the Mayor.
The City of Council Bluffs is currently completing the annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year, July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Further public hearing notices will be posted so that citizens have the opportunity to attend and provide input.
Unless the City Council proposes an unexpected tax levy increase, which we don’t anticipate, the City will maintain the City’s property tax levy at the exact same levy rate as last year. In fact, with the exception of the voter-approved increase in the debt levy for the police station, the City hasn’t increased the City’s debt levy for 15 years.
Your City property taxes amount to roughly 1/3 of your total property tax bill. The school’s levy and the County’s levy are the other two major taxing authorities collecting property taxes.