The Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors agreed by consensus yesterday(Thur) in favor of a proposed budget. It would reduce the county’s share of a homeowner’s tax bill by almost 3%. The general and rural fund portions of the budget are subject to a public hearing March 5 under a new state law, and the entire budget will likely be approved during a second hearing March 24.
The proposed budget would raise the urban property tax rate from $6.30 to $6.32 per $1,000 of taxable property value. The rural rate — a higher amount paid on property in unincorporated areas not subject to a city tax bill — would grow from $9.88 to $9.97 per $1,000. Despite the rising tax rate, residential property owners will see a tax cut because of a state “rollback” order reducing the percentage of their homes’ assessed value used for taxing purposes by 3.24 percent. The owner of an urban home with an assessed value of $100,000 would see the county’s share of their property tax bill drop from $359 to $348. The same home in the rural area would see the county’s share of their bill fall from $562 to $549. Commercial and industrial properties did not see a change in their rollbacks and would see a 0.33 percent increase in county taxes under the proposed budget. Agricultural property was hurt slightly by the rollback change and will see an average 2.5 percent increase in county taxes.
The supervisors were able to add several new positions and programs next year. The proposed budget adds two deputies to enhance courthouse security, a social worker to divert mentally ill jail inmates to appropriate services, and adds contracted security services at the Pinecrest Building. The supervisors included a projected $4 million bond issue later this year to cover the county’s share of an $8 million project to pave Grundy Road south of U.S. Highway 20. They did not include $920,000 requested by the Board of Health to create a public health center, although that could be funded in the future from cash reserves. The supervisors did not agree on every aspect of the budget, which was put together on a series of consensus voters over the past month. But none of the supervisors indicated yesterday(Thur) that there was anything in it that would prevent them from supporting it.