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The original item was published from 2/17/2023 3:44:12 PM to 2/17/2023 3:55:25 PM.

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Posted on: February 17, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Maximum Tax Levy Press Release

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February 17, 2023 









A 2021 bill in the state legislature and a shift in responsibilities for emergency dispatch and 911 services means property taxes in Oskaloosa will be adjusted next year. The main shift in expenses will be to fund local emergency management and 911 services. Previously services were completely funded through a county-wide levy and now local entities are contributing to the funding on a per citizen basis. Oskaloosa is now contributing more than $500,000 for EMA/E911 services.  


A plus for local taxpayers is a reduction in debt service levy by 40¢ / $1000 of valuation helped to offset the EMA/911 tax increase.  


“We strive to keep our taxes at the lowest rate possible,” says David Krutzfeldt Mayor of Oskaloosa. I understand the importance of balancing our citys budget and yet ensuring that our residents receive the services they expect. 911 and emergency services are essential to the health and safety of our community and in order to provide the best services possible they must be supported. The tax increases are a direct result of the 911 and emergency services funding and the state legislatures 2021 rollback bill.” 


In addition to the levy for emergency services the Iowa Legislature continue their state rollbacks from the 2013 bill. Specifically, no funding is coming to local governments from the state due to reduced taxes on multi-residential properties, which include living spaces like apartments, nursing homes, and trailer parks. The rollback rate is that percent of a property’s assessed taxable valuation that is actually used to calculate the property taxes on that property. For example, a 55% residential rollback rate on a house with an assessed taxable valuation of $100,000 means that house would only be taxed at 55% of its assessed value, or $55,000. 









The state tax reform bills provided a system where taxes on multi-residential properties gradually declined to match the taxation rates of residential properties. In addition, commercial properties and industrial properties are being taxed at the lower residential rate on the first $150,000 in valuation and the money coming from the state is being reduced. This means that even though valuations grew in Oskaloosa last year by 3% taxes are flatlining because of this action by the state.  


If you take away the EMS/E911 levy and the state rollback rules were eliminated, the local growth would have satisfied the community needs without any increase.  


Currently, the state is having local governments redo budgets due to state miscalculating rollback numbers and creating uncertainty regarding levy rates and has extended budget certification date.  


Local leadership says this is a continued whittling away of local control from the state legislature.  


“This demonstrates how what happens at the state level has a direct impact locally. Had the legislature given more consideration to the impact on small communities before implementing this rollback system and reduced backfill they would have known the revenue shortfall would especially burden smaller local governments,” says Krutzfeldt. “The effect we are seeing is a reduction in state taxes we pay while forcing local governments to tax more.” 


Locally in Oskaloosa, an average Oskaloosa residential property of $100,000 will see an increase of about $5.80 a month.  


For additional information, contact City Hall at (641) 673-9431. 

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