The Cass County Board of Supervisors, today (Wednesday) adopted the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, following a public hearing, during which there were no written or spoken comments. The Budget amounts to slight more than $20-million, 188-thousand dollars, which is a decrease from the re-estimated FY 2013-2014 budget of $20.9-million. Auditor Dale Sunderman said the budget was lower because the amount the County takes in from taxes is less than last year.
The proposed tax rate is $5.68 per $1,000 valuation for urban areas and $10.16 per $1,000 valuation for rural areas. Last year the tax rate was $5.63 per $1,000 valuation for urban areas and $10.17 per $1,000 valuation for rural areas. The levy rate Sunderman says is the same, but the taxes will still go up because of an increase in valuations.
He said the total valuation for the County on property tax alone was increased. Sunderman said there was also a rollback on residential properties, which amounted to 54.4-percent of the assessed value. He says that’s due to an increase in valuation. Last year the rollback was 52.8166-percent. For agricultural property, the rollback was to 43.3997-percent. Last year the rollback was 59.9334-percent. That, he says means the Ag valuations went down, which resulted in shift in some of the tax burden to residential property owners.
The Iowa Department of Revenue determines the rollback amount. Sunderman said there this was also the first year in a long time there has been a rollback in Commercial/Industrial and Railroad property. The rollback was 95-percent, whereas it is normally 100-percent. The amount of taxes in the General Basic fund derived from property taxes is expected to be a little more than $2.678-million.
In other business, the Supervisors voted to approve a schedule of salaries for elected officials, which was less than what the County Compensation Board had recommended. The Board had recommended a 3.5-percent increase for the Recorder, Treasurer, Auditor and Supervisors, and a 7-percent increase for the County Attorney and Sheriff.
Supervisor Gaylord Schelling made a motion to lower the percentages. Schelling proposed reducing the percentages from 3.5 to 3-percent for Recorder, Treasurer, Auditor and Supervisors, and from 7 to 6-percent for the Sheriff and County Attorney. That’s a reduction of one-seventh. The annual salary as approved amounts to $95,498 for the County Attorney, $68,438 for the Sheriff, $53,256 each for the Auditor, Treasurer and Recorder, $27,798 for the Supervisors and $28,798 for the Supervisor Chair.