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News & Updates 
from Linn County Government

June 2016

Minimum wage: Next steps for Linn County

A study group appointed by the Linn County Board of Supervisors to explore the potential impact of raising the minimum wage in Linn County has recommended increasing the minimum wage in Linn County to $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2017 (a $1 increase from the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour) and to reconvene after the end of the legislative session in 2017, if needed. Members of the study group represented local employers, service providers, citizens, municipalities and policy makers in local governments.

During their June 27 meeting, the Linn County Board of Supervisors discussed the study group’s recommendation and the process the Board will use to make a decision on the minimum wage issue.

Members of the Board of Supervisors will gather additional input, including reaching out to municipalities for their input on the study group’s recommendation, before proposing a minimum wage ordinance for Linn County. An ordinance requires three readings at public meetings to pass. Cities have the option to opt out of a minimum wage ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors.

Fiscal Year 2017 budget begins July 1

The budget for Linn County’s fiscal year 2017, which begins July 1, is available on our website. The budget was approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors with no change in the countywide tax rate and an additional $0.05 decrease in the rural tax rate due to Local Option Sales Tax revenue increase. This marks the third year in a row that the countywide levy rate has not increased. The $1.48 million in property tax relief for rural residents in FY17 is equal to a 98 cent reduction.

Homeowners in cities will see no change in the county portion of their property tax bills. Rural residents will see a small decrease in their tax bills of $4 on a $100,000 home due to the Local Option Sales Tax levy rate reduction. Commercial and industrial property taxes in Linn County will remain the same as in FY16.

Linn County’s levy rate is the second lowest among comparable counties in Iowa. Property taxes levied account for $63 million, or 58 percent of Linn County’s total budget. 

Office hours changing for Linn County Treasurer’s Office

Beginning July 5, 2016, the Linn County Treasurer’s Office will be open from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phones will be answered between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. On the second Thursday of every month, the office will be open and phones answered from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. so staff can participate in ongoing training and development.

By tracking customer service data, the office found one of its busiest times is right away in the morning, so they will open a half-hour earlier to meet demand.

The new office hours and dedicated monthly training in the Treasurer’s Office are examples of how Linn County is listening to the voice of its customers and implementing a customer-centered culture to improve customer satisfaction.

Some services provided by the Treasurer’s Office can be conducted online at www.iowataxandtags.gov, including renewing license plate tags and paying property taxes.

Amy Johnson
Supervisor Amy Johnson

Supervisor Amy Johnson announces blog

Linn County Supervisor Amy Johnson will chronicle her six-month appointment to the Linn County Board of Supervisors through a new blog on the Linn County website.

“I am simply amazed by the vast amount of work done by county supervisors. We are involved in so many important decisions. I wanted a way to share my experiences with the public in a broad way,” said Johnson. “I hope residents will follow along and learn about the many ways county supervisors impact the community and the county’s role in making our community a great place.”

Johnson’s blog posts can be found on Linn County’s website www.linncounty.org/blog.

To sign-up for notification when new posts are added, visit www.linncounty.org/notifyme and select “Blog” from the list.

Linn County supports local historic preservation efforts

The Linn County Board of Supervisors has awarded $25,827 from the Linn County Historic Preservation Grant Program to nine non-profit organizations in Linn County. The recipients were selected through an annual competitive process. The Linn County Historic Preservation Commission reviews the grant applications and makes funding recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

Funded projects include tuckpointing the old Clegg Library in Central City, ledger preservation for the Genealogical Society of Linn County, and preservation of the Seth Thomas Clock Tower on the Cornell College campus in Mount Vernon. A complete list of the grant recipients and their projects can be found on Linn County’s website.

Linn County road construction projects

Road construction season is in full swing. Linn County provides regular email and text updates on secondary road work throughout the county. For a list of county road construction projects or to sign up for notification, visit our website.

Road closed sign

July 1 deadline to file for homestead, military, disabled veterans homestead and business property tax credit

Property owners are reminded that the deadline for applying for the 2016 Homestead Property Tax Credit, Disabled Veteran Homestead Tax Credit, Military Exemption as well as the Business Property Tax Credit is July 1, 2016. Applications received after that date will be considered an application for the 2017 credit.

Property owners outside the Cedar Rapids city boundaries may apply at the Linn County Assessor’s Office located at the Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit the Linn County Assessor’s website.

Cedar Rapids property owners should apply at the Cedar Rapids City Assessor’s Office at 500 15th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or visit the Cedar Rapids City Assessor’s website.

Linn County offices closed July 4

Linn County governmental offices will be closed Monday, July 4, for the Independence Day holiday.

The following services will continue to operate:

  • Juvenile Detention and Diversion Services
  • The Sheriff’s Office will be closed; however, continuous operations will be available for routine and emergency responses, including the Patrol Division, Communications Division and the Correctional Center. In an emergency, dial 911.
Canoe on water

Things to do at Linn County parks

Looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors?

Visit your Linn County Parks!

Linn County Conservation has more than 300 campsites and 100 miles of trail for you to enjoy. We also have shelters and lodges available to rent for your next event. Visit linncountyparks.com for more information and see what Linn County parks have to offer.

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