City council approves residential property tax hike with 3-2 vote on FY2015 budget
By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
By a 3-to-2 vote, Sioux City leaders have approved a property tax hike as part of a plan to balance the city's budget.
Taxes on residential property will go up $31 for every $100,000 of property owned. Only a portion of that $31 is under the city's control, the rest comes from the state.
After several years of holding the line on taxes, leaders said that they had to raise them to continue important city services. Councilman Keith Radig and Mayor Bob Scott voted against the tax hike. Scott noted that commercial property taxes will drop by $70, because of the state rollback. Bob Scott, Mayor: "Thirty-one dollars, when some people are getting a one-percent increase on their social security, which is being gobbled up by insurance is really tough for me to vote for a budget that we're adding personal to." Dan Moore, City Council Member: "I don't want anybody to think this is a great budget that we have. We did our best this year to come up with a budget that's going to be workable, but we have aging infrastructure. We have so many things that we need to address."
Fire Chief Tom Everett offered to cut an additional $50000 from his budget. The savings would have come from delays in maintenance and purchases such as batteries.
The president of the Firefighters Union expressed concern about the recommendation. Dan Cougill, Firefighters Union: "Working in a structure fire, and you know you got a good battery in your radio, and you've got a good radio versus a battery that was 60% or 75%. You don't know how long you're going to be in there."
Several council members had similar concerns. They voted to approve a $30,000 reduction instead of $50,000.
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