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Posted on: January 31, 2022

Council Considering Decrease in City Tax Rate

City Budget

The City of Sioux Center is looking at a lower rate for the city portion of property taxes in the 2022-23 budget. The City Council is considering decreasing the city’s portion of the levy rate to $11.135 per $1,000 of taxable valuation, a 0.27% decrease from last year. The council reviewed the general fund budget Jan. 27.

“The major factors leading to recommending a lower tax rate is the increased in assessed value, decrease in need for debt service levy revenue, and ongoing cost control measures throughout the City,” said City Finance Director Darryl Ten Pas. “This is the 13th consecutive year that the tax rate has had no change or decreased. Since fiscal year 2008, the city levy rate has decreased 20.31%. That is possible in part due to the ongoing commercial and residential growth Sioux Center has seen.”

Sioux Center’s total assessed value has increased by 6.83% in the past year. This is a mix of new construction and higher assessed property values. 

Residents will see a decrease in their city tax asking if this budget is approved. For a home valued at $250,000, the property owner would pay $1,507 in city taxes, a decrease of about $68 from the previous year. Commercial and industrial properties will have a 0.3% decrease for fiscal year 2023. 

The City’s portion of residents’ property tax bill is about 33%. The remaining 67% percent goes to the Sioux Center Community School District, Sioux County, and Northwest Iowa Community College. 

Following a review of the utility budget and a public hearing on the property tax levy Feb. 21, the council will decide in March whether to approve the budget.

Additional budget highlights: 

Utilities contribution
Our municipally-owned utilities are not required by law to pay property taxes, but they still make an annual contribution to the city’s general fund. In this budget the electric, gas and water utilities will contribute 5% of utility sales to the general fund. 

The budget includes a communications/radio upgrade and for electronic lift/assists for the ambulances. 

Improving parks
Central Park will be the focus of planning and updates in 2022-23. The budget also allocates $150,000 for recreation trails and sets aside dollars for the possibility of a future dog park, which the Parks Board and City Parks Department have been discussing, anticipating presenting thoughts to the council later in 2022. 

All Seasons Center
The budget includes replacing the net and padding in the lily pad area of the indoor pools and work on the office area at the All Seasons Center.

Athletic Fields
The softball and baseball infields will receive new material, and a javelin run will be added to the track and field area in preparation for Dordt University to host the GPAC conference meet.

A slight increase is proposed for the Sioux Center Public Library to continue to provide electronic and physical resources as well as ongoing maintenance.

Heritage Village
Along with $75,000 from estate funds, there is an additional $25,000 in the budget for Heritage Village as the new site is developed and updated. 

Capital projects
Along with Heritage Village, the budget includes funding for several larger projects, including the construction of the indoor turf facility, Highway 75 engineering and prep for construction, and the planned construction of a storm water detention pond near Meadow Creek. The City will pay for the pond with the help of state grant dollars.

Local Option Sales Tax
About $545,000 in Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) will go into the general fund as property tax relief, and the remaining $150,000 of it will go toward recreation trails. 

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