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Mar 29

[ARCHIVED] Linn County Budget in Brief

The original item was published from March 29, 2022 2:19 PM to March 29, 2022 2:26 PM

Calculator and spreadsheetEach year, Linn County has the task of completing and approving its fiscal year budget. Here is what the process looks like:

Budget Planning Process

Planning for the annual budget spans from November through February and includes a series of more than 20 public meetings between the Board of Supervisors, other elected officials, and department heads. 

Each year, the budget is developed within Linn County’s budgetary and financial policies. Resources are allocated to align with Linn County's Strategic Plan and mission statement, which make funding public health and safety, roads and transportation, the environment, and necessary capital improvements top priorities. The Board of Supervisors operates under the guideline of no increase in operational spending and strives to maintain a consistent levy rate to minimize any impact to the taxpayer.

The planning process starts with a public budget forum each November where residents have the opportunity to address the Board of Supervisors and provide comment on the development of Linn County’s fiscal year budget. The process concludes with two public hearings where the public can offer final feedback on the proposed budget before the Board votes on its final approval. The public can attend any, or all, of the 20-plus budget planning meetings. The meeting schedule is posted on Linn County’s website every November. The public can also subscribe to receive meeting notifications via text or email.

FY23 Budget Summary

The Linn County Board of Supervisors recently approved a $154.8 million balanced budget for fiscal year 2023 (FY23). Here are the highlights:

  • Budget of $154.8 million – an increase of 18.4 percent from last year due in part to the receipt of $22 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding
  • A decrease in the countywide levy rate to $5.85 per $1,000 of taxable value in FY23 (the decrease is due to the passage of Senate File 619 that moved Mental Health & Disability Services (MHDS) funding from property tax to State appropriation)
  • No increase in the rural levy rate of $2.71; rural levy rate includes a reduction of one dollar for rural residents from the Local Option Sales Tax allocation as voted on by rural residents
  • Impact to homeowner: A decrease of up to 10 percent in county property taxes due to a decrease in taxable value as a result of a change in state residential rollback
  • A decrease of 6.3 percent in commercial and industrial property taxes due to the passage of Senate File 619 that moved Mental Health & Disability Services (MHDS) funding from property tax to State appropriation)
  • Farmland taxes will increase approximately 1.3 percent due to a change in state agricultural rollback
  • Property taxes levied: $75.5 million, a decrease of 2.9 percent from FY22
  • Property taxes account for 49 percent of Linn County’s FY23 budget (this is a decrease from previous years due in part to the receipt of $22 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding)
  • Local Option Sales Tax revenue of $3.6 million is estimated for road construction; $1.7 million for Conservation projects; and $1.5 million in property tax relief for rural residents
  • Achieves goal of general fund ending balance of 25 percent
  • Linn County’s 2023 fiscal year runs July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023

View the FY23 budget presentation (PDF).

Tax Dollars at Work

Linn County’s goal is to provide quality public services at an affordable cost. The cost of County services in the current FY22 budget for the owner of a home valued at $150,000 is $44 per month, as shown in the list below. This is eight cents less than FY21 and is based on the countywide levy rate. It does not include the rural levy rate paid by rural residents. 

FY22 Monthly Cost of Linn County Service Areas
Public safety and legal services
$12.05
Administration
$6.56
Physical health and social services
$6.33
Capital projects
$4.92
Roads and transportation   
$3.78
Mental health and developmental disabilities 
$3.58
County environment and education        
$2.87
Government services to residents 
$1.97
Debt service
$1.94
TOTAL        
$44.00


Revenue

In order for Linn County to provide these necessary services for residents, the County must generate revenue. Revenue sources include property taxes; intergovernmental funds, such as grants; other taxes, such as Local Option Sales Tax revenue; license and permit fees; interest from investments or rental income; and charges for services. 

Property Tax Bill Explained

It is often thought that the County keeps all funds paid via property taxes each year, when, in fact, the County serves as the collector and the distributor of the funds. Linn County taxes account for approximately 16 percent of the overall tax bill paid by Linn County property owners in incorporated areas. The remaining 84 percent of property taxes goes to the property taxpayer’s city of residence, school district, and other taxing bodies in the county, which set their own levy rates. Linn County taxes represent slightly more than one-third of property taxes for rural residents. Each property tax bill includes the exact dollar amount and percentage distributed to each taxing jurisdiction.

Learn more about the budget planning process and fiscal year budget by visiting the Finance & Budget section of the Linn County website.