City leaders approve property tax increase - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

City leaders approve property tax increase

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Despite efforts to hold the line on spending this year, Sioux City is passing on a property tax increase to area residents and business owners.

Monday night, the council approved a one-point-six-percent increase to local property taxes.

That's an additional $45 for the average home owner.  The typical business will see a $26 increase for every $1,000 in property valuation.

After several years of tax decreases, and protecting the police and fire departments from job cuts, each force will lose an administrative position through attrition.

For the fire department, it means the loss of the public information officer position.  However, Fire Chief Tom Everett says the job of educating the public on fire safety will continue.

"It's certainly going to be a challenge but it's something that our department will continue to provide, and we'll just provide it in different ways," Everett pointed out.

"If you look at the budget we're not reducing either one of those budgets, we just aren't increasing them by as much as they requested," said council member Tom Padgett. 

Everett says he's working on a game plan to spread the responsibilities around. 

Council members say these cuts could be a sign of what's to come.  They blame increasing pension costs, and say the state's not living up to its end of the bargain when it comes to covering the benefits owed to police officers and firefighters.

"It makes sense why taxes are going up at the local level. It's because of the burden put on the local level from the state.  You can't go through out budget and find any new spending through operating.  Look through most departments.  There's very little staff in them," pointed out Keith Radig.    

"The state is as guilty about these cuts as the city is.   We need to develop a partnership with the unions to lobby the state to fund the pensions that they agreed to fund," added Mayor Bob Scott.    

Radig was the only council member to vote against the budget.  He said he couldn't vote for a tax increase.

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