|By Tim Jamison, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Members of the
"It has been almost the turn of the century ... the last time there was a decrease in askings," said Finance Director
Property taxes fell every year from 1995 through 2000 thanks in part to property tax relief the
Other reasons for a tax cut include eliminating the county youth shelter, which actually closed last year but had been included in the current year budget at
Staff reductions -- 12 youth shelter workers, an auditor's job, a building cleaner and the human resources director -- drove the county's number of full-time equivalent positions down to 619 jobs.
"This is the second-lowest FTE in well over 20 years for the county," Bronner said.
Salaries and benefits for employees overall were up 2 percent. That includes 2.75 percent pay raises for elected officials, department heads and nonunion workers, while most collective bargaining agreements carry 2.25 percent raises for the unionized work force.
The county's property tax rate for urban residents grows from
A home in the city with an assessed value of
Commercial and industrial properties, meanwhile, will see their county tax bill fall by nearly 3.5 percent thanks to the state tax relief measures.
Agricultural land would have realized a huge reduction in their county tax bills if land value did not change. But county officials noted the average farm property saw a nearly 40 percent jump in assessed value, which would essentially result in a net tax freeze.
"We hated to see the residential increase as much as it did, but we worked hard to get that to the level it is," said Supervisor
There were no comments from the public during the budget hearing.
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