The Sioux Center City Council reviewed a proposed budget for 2019-20 that would decrease the tax levy by 1.8 percent. The new levy rate for the city portion of property taxes would be $11.335 per taxable $1,000.
“This will be the 10th year we’ve held steady or decreased our levy rate,” said Sioux Center City Finance Director Darryl Ten Pas.
The assessed value in the community has increased by 5 percent, representing growth in Sioux Center, Ten Pas added.
Residents may see a slight increase in the city portion of their property tax because the state has increased the rollback percentage slightly for residential properties.
Highlights of the proposed 2019-20 budget:
• Trail and park improvements
The budget includes $150,000 for recreation trail improvements. Landscaping and sidewalk improvements at Westside Park are planned, and a new restroom for Children’s Park is also in the budget. New netting and dugout upgrades are planned for the baseball field.
• Ambulance employee
To help cover staffing shortages for the Sioux Center Ambulance, a full-time paramedic has been added.
• Aquatic center construction
Construction will finish this year on the new water park at the All Seasons Center. This project is being paid for through TIF and local option sales tax revenue.
• Highway 75 planning
The budget includes dollars to continue work toward placing Highway 75 improvements on the DOT’s five-year construction plan and planning for replacement of the aging pavement, the addition of lanes to decrease congestion, and additional safety features for pedestrians and travelers.
• Final payments made
The city will make the final payment for three general obligation bonds before the end of the 2018-19 budget year. Those bonds are for the original construction at the All Seasons Center, the Ridge development, and the demolition of the old hospital. The city also finished the 5-year pledge toward Sandy Hollow.
• Fire truck upgrade
The city will finish the purchase of a new fire truck in 2019-20 and will begin use.
• Zoning enforcement
The city is considering a part-time nuisance enforcement officer to assist with proactively addressing nuisances, an issue which many residents commented on in the recent community survey.
• Utility budget highlights
Continued improvements to our metering system is part of the 2019-20 budget, as are improvements to water infrastructure in several places. The sewer rate increases are completed, and construction of the new wastewater treatment plant will wrap up in this budget year. A new sewer lift station for northeastern Sioux Center is budgeted.
• Airport changes
With the new Sioux County Regional Airport open, Sioux Center will see savings by not having a city airport employee and by not operating a separate airport. As joint partners in the regional airport project with Sioux County and Orange City, Sioux Center will make payments to the regional airport.
The city council will decide whether to approve the proposed 2019-20 budget at its March 1 noon meeting at the City Office, following a public hearing. Copies of the budget are available for review at the City Office and the Sioux Center Public Library.
The city’s portion accounts for approximately 35 percent of the total property tax bill. The total bill also includes taxes levied by the county, local school and Northwest Iowa Community College.