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City of Muscatine

MUSCATINE — Muscatine property tax rate will remain the same as last year according to the city's final fiscal year 2019-2020 budget.

Muscatine City Council approved the budget last Thursday following a public hearing. There was no comment from the public and the hearing was closed.

City Finance Director Nancy Lueck gave a summary of the overall budget and mentioned significant points in a presentation to the council, including the city property tax rate of $15.67 per $1,000 valuation. The overall city tax rate has generally remained the same for the last 10 years, she said. Agricultural land will be taxed at $3 per $1,000 valuation.

Lueck said the city has been able to maintain the tax rate by increasing and decreasing individual levies. Decreases were in transit and employee benefits levies. Tort liability and debt service levies were increased.

With the $15.67 tax rate, a person with a home valued at $100,000 will pay $892 in city property taxes, which is $20 more than this year due to the change in the residential rollback factor, Lueck said.

"And the city has no control over the rollback," she said. The rollback was determined by the state legislature.

The general fund tax rate is set at the maximum $8.10 per $1,000 valuation, and due to an increase in taxable property values, will generate $129,957 more in tax revenue than the previous year.

The budget features $55.7 million in total revenues for the city. The largest revenue producers are general property taxes $14.1 million, or 25 percent of the total, and charges for city services $15.7 million, or 28 percent. General property taxes excludes revenue from tax increment financing areas.

Operating and capital project expenditures total $62.7 million, "a significant amount," Lueck said.

Of the total, 24 percent of the funds are used for capital projects at $15.3 million, or 24 percent, and enterprise at $18 million, or 29 percent. Public safety is the third largest expenditure at $10.1 million, or 16 percent of the total.

Capital projects include the Mississippi Drive/Grandview Avenue Corridor Project and other street projects, West Hill Sewer Separation Project, West Side Trail and funds to CAT grant.

The budget also includes a $6.1 million bond issue to fund some capital projects and an increase in the utility franchise fee rate as a result of legislative decisions regarding automated traffic enforcement cameras. The rate will increase from two

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