The Linn County Board of Supervisors yesterday voted to finalize the fiscal year 2015 budget of $115 million. The Board will officially adopt the budget following a public hearing on March 11.
The levy rate for FY15 will be $6.14 per $1,000 of taxable value. This is an increase of three cents from the FY14 budget; however, it follows three years of no increases in the county’s levy rate and is a penny lower than Linn County’s FY09 levy rate of $6.15 one year after the 2008 flood, which was cut 19 cents the following year.
The FY15 budget also includes a rural services levy rate of $2.78, which is 93 cents below last year’s levy rate. The rural services levy, which is in addition to the countywide levy rate, is for residents who live in unincorporated Linn County. The decrease is a result of the Board of Supervisors’ vote to include ballot language that provided 25 percent of the Local Option Sales Tax from unincorporated Linn County to go toward property tax relief for rural residents beginning July 1, 2014. This property tax relief is estimated to be about $1.3 million per year for rural residents.
The impact of Linn County’s levy rate on the property taxes of a $100,000 home is approximately $2, although the county portion of the property tax bill of the same home will show an increase of $11, the rollback from the State of Iowa accounts for $9 of the increase.
“This is a fiscally responsible budget that keeps the levy rate low while providing valuable services to Linn County residents,” said Linda Langston, Linn County Board of Supervisors vice chairperson. “We are pleased to note that our rural residents will see a significant reduction in the county portion of their tax bill while other county residents will see very little change in the overall county portion of their tax bill.”
Commercial and industrial property owners in Linn County will pay less in FY15 for county property taxes than in FY14 due to the legislative change of being taxed at 95 percent of property value instead of 100 percent. Agricultural property owners will also pay less in FY15 due to the state rollback and Linn County’s property tax relief for rural residents.
Property taxes make up 54 percent of Linn County’s FY15 budget. The remaining revenue sources include intergovernmental, charges for services, licenses and permits and other taxes.
Linn County government accounts for approximately 16 percent of property taxes paid by Linn County property owners in incorporated areas. The remaining 84 percent of property taxes goes to the property tax payer’s city of residence, school district and other taxing bodies in the county. Linn County taxes represent slightly more than one-third of property taxes for rural residents.
Linn County’s 2015 fiscal year is July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.