Sioux City Community Schools rank last in state property tax val - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City Community Schools rank last in state property tax valuation

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Sioux City Community Schools have been toward the bottom of the list for years when it comes to property tax valuation in Iowa. 

This year, it ranked dead last, number 346 out of 346 districts. 

As a property poor district, the Sioux City schools have less money coming from property tax dollars per student, than any other district in the state of Iowa.

"It's not a place where we want to be," School Board President Mike Krysl said.

The district generates about $161,000 from property taxes for each student in the system.  It may sound like a lot, but when compared to other urban districts, Des Moines brings in more than $204,000, and Iowa City takes in about $375,000.

 Nearby rural districts like Woodbury Central bring in about $287,000 per student. Westwood brings in close to $538,000. 

"For local commercial and residential taxpayers, those people who own property and pay taxes on that property, this is not good news. It means that they're bearing a greater burden," Krysl said.

"Many districts in the state have a combination of residential property taxpayers, industrial, and commercial. Our district is made up mainly of residential taxpayers. We have a low industrial and commercial tax base,"  Sioux City Community Schools Chief Financial Officer Gordon Winterlin said.

Higher property values often allow districts to keep tax rates lower.  To make up the difference, Sioux City's property tax rate is higher than surrounding communities.  It's $16.68.  If you live in the Sergeant Bluff-Luton district, your tax rate is $12.90.

"It means that for the Sioux City Community School district, the task of providing our students with a 21st Century education at the lowest cost will be an even greater feat," Krysl said. 

But despite the challenge, Krysl said the quality of education has not been compromised.

"We're able to do quite a lot to make sure that all of the necessary and appropriate resources are available," Krysl said. 

Krysl hopes the legislature will look at new options for school funding that will level the playing field for all Iowa districts.
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