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Tax hike on the way for North Liberty

29-cent property tax levy increase will generate 6.9% more general fund dollars

NORTH LIBERTY– Property owners in North Liberty will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets after the city council approved a $0.29 increase in the tax levy.
A public hearing was held on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with no comments received, for or against, and a 5-0 vote by the council approved the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 (FY22) budget with the increase. The second and final public hearing and resolution approving the FY22 budget was scheduled for Tuesday, March 9 (after this edition’s deadline).
In his memo to council members, City Administrator Ryan Heiar noted, “For the first time in a decade the city’s tax levy will increase from $11.03 to $11.32.”
Heiar said the increase is a result of a higher debt service levy needed to cover the bond payment for the new police station. “The city’s general fund levy revenues will increase from $9.369 million to $10.017 million, equating to 6.9 percent (due to the tax increase),” Heiar wrote. Due to legislation enacted in 2019, a revenue increase of more that 2 percent requires a super majority (four-fifths) vote by the council.
The added revenue will also pay for: an additional patrol officer for the police department, the fire department’s new training officer, funding equity and outreach programming, for an increase in the costs of operation related to the new police station, replacing two patrol cars, replacing two snow removal tractors, replacing some exercise equipment, adding a community engagement coordinator position and continued funding of an IT coordinator position.
According to the city, 69 percent of revenue comes from property taxes with 19 percent generated through charges for services. Culture and recreation account for 34 percent of the general fund expenditures with 32 percent spent on public safety, 15 percent on general government costs, and 11 percent allocated toward public works.