A tax increase for Woodbury County expected - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

A tax increase for Woodbury County expected

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Supervisors discuss the budget. Supervisors discuss the budget.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - Woodbury County taxpayers face a tax increase in the upcoming fiscal year.

"It's going to be very hard to find more cuts, very hard," Woodbury County Supervisor Mark Monson said.

If your home is assessed at $100,000, you could pay another $25 to the county in taxes.

This tax increase may come as a surprise to taxpayers.

That's because Woodbury County leaders have often reduced tax rates over the last eight fiscal years.

After debating where else they can make cuts to the 51-million dollar budget, supervisors couldn't agree on any items.

The county's finance controller Dennis Butler said there are several reasons taxpayers will see an increase.

In the past, they've used cash reserves to hold tax rates down.

Additionally, the board approved spending a quarter of a million dollars on courthouse security.

And, Butler said it's hard to ask departments to cut any more than they already have.

"All these departments are bare boned cause we've asked them not to increase personnel. We've asked them not to increase operating costs, so how do you go back and ask them for more cuts," Butler said.

The numbers aren't finalized yet. And, some are hoping the board can find other places to save taxpayers some money.

"We need to have a discussion with the community about non-mandated services. Should we be paring that off year by year? Should we be spending 180-some-thousand dollars to just one organization? Should we be paring that off year by year by year?" James Van Bruggen with the Taxpayers Research Council asked. 

And, although Chairman of the Board George Boykin said he's a big supporter of these non-mandated services, which include organizations like Meals on Wheels and the Sanford Center, he said they will try to find more places to cut the budget.

"We need to continue to analyze that budget and get it down as far as we can," George Boykin said

County leaders will finalize the budget next week and then publish it.

A public hearing will be held on March 11.

But, once the budget is published, they can't make any increases to the budget, just decreases.

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