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Following the public hearing Monday, February 24, the Ringgold County board of supervisors approved the county budget for FY2021.
The budget lowers the overall levy on property tax from $11.33514 per thousand valuation to $9.952 per thousand.
The decision to decrease the levy comes in response to two separate factors.
First, with property valuations across the county increasing approximately 19 percent, at the public hearing supervisor Kraig Pennington said the lower levy will somewhat ease the tax burden on county residents.
Tax bills will still rise, but not as much as if the current levy remained in place.
Second, Senate File 634 passed last year by the Iowa legislature restricts revenues raised by taxes cannot increase more than 2 percent over current revenues.
With the deceased levy, county tax revenues in FY 2021 will increase right at the 2 percent target.
The approved budget also decreases the General Basic levy from $4.50 to $4. (The General Basic levy is included as part of the overall levy of $9.952.)
The General Basic levy amount remains above the $3.50 levy rate set in Iowa Code, but the law allows counties to surpass that amount in “unusual circumstances,” including the “need for additional moneys to permit continuance of a program which provides substantial benefit to county residents.” The county considers services for public health, data processing, conservation, and others among those of benefit to county residents.
Overall, the FY2021 budget includes total revenues of $10,577,513 and overall expenditures of $11,258,074, a budget shortfall of a negative $530,561, an amount that will be taken out of the county’s carryover from the current fiscal year.
The carryover balance at the conclusion of FY2021 will equal 23 percent of total expenditures, slightly below the recommended carryover of 25 percent.