News Column

County Assessor's Office projects property tax cut

February 19, 2014

By Tim Jamison, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa



Feb. 19--WATERLOO -- The Black Hawk County Assessor's Office is planning to lower its share of the local property tax bill.

Members of the county Conference Board voted unanimously Tuesday to set a March 4 public hearing on a budget calling for a 9 percent drop in the overall assessor's tax collection.

The Conference Board, which oversees the Assessor's Office, consists of the county Board of Supervisors, each mayor in the county and a representative of each public school board in the county.

Acting Assessor T.J. Koenigsfeld noted the tax cut was largely due to $250,000 in taxes being collected this year for a tax software system which does not have to be included in the tax asking for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The budget calls for 2.75 percent wage increases for the office's 14 staff members, which is in line with raises awarded to county employees. The Assessor's Office is in the courthouse but is not considered a department of county government.

The proposed budget calls for total property tax collection to drop from $1.63 million to $1.48 million next year, while the property tax rate would fall from 32.4 cents to 30.8 cents per $1,000 of property value.

Based on the proposed tax rate and a shift in the percentage of residential and commercial property values available for taxation, the average property owner will be a reduction in the assessor's share of their tax bill.

The owner of a home with an assessed value of $100,000 would see their bill fall from $17.14 to $16.75 next year assuming they saw no change in their assessed value. The owner of a $500,000 commercial or industrial building would see the assessor's taxes fall from $162 to $146.

The assessor accounts for less than 1 percent of an overall property tax bill. City, schools and the county government collect most of the local property taxes.

Meanwhile, an examining board is expected by the public hearing to provide a registered list of qualified candidates to replace former Assessor Tami McFarland who resigned Jan. 24. The examining board can make a recommendation on an appointment but the final decision rests with the Conference Board.

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(c)2014 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa)

Visit Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) at www.wcfcourier.com

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Source: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (IA)


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