The Muscatine City Council will conduct two sessions on Thursday, March 9, beginning with a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. concerning the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget. The second meeting is the regular March In-Depth meeting that will begin at approximately 6 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the Council Chambers at Muscatine City Hall.
Budget discussions were delayed while the Iowa state legislature worked to correct their original calculation of the “rollback” rate that is used to adjust actual valuations to table valuations, and limiting the annual growth of property assessment. Residential property was used along with multi-residential property to calculate the rollback and that would have increased the amount of property taxes residential property owners would pay. The adjustment removed multi-residential from the calculations, which lowered the rollback rate from 56.49 to 54.65 percent.
The changes lowered the amount of property tax that school districts along with city and county governments would receive for FY 23-24, and thus created budget headaches for those charged with creating budgets for each entity.
Once the revised estimate of property taxes was calculated by county auditors, each entity had to review their budgets and see what, if any, cuts would have to be made. Fortunately, the City of Muscatine anticipates asking the Council for a 1.87 percent reduction in the City’s property tax rate. The City rate was 15.97054 (per $1,000 valuation) for FY 22-23 but is proposed to be 15.67169 for FY23-24. That rate is nearly the same as the 15.67209 rate the City had for 10 straight years through the FY 21-22 budget.
City Administrator Carol Webb and Finance Director Nancy Lueck will provide updated general information schedules to City Council members Thursday along with conducting discussions on budgets not yet reviewed by City Council including Debt Service and a number of Special Revenue Funds.
The meeting will wrap up with the presentation of an updated General Fund Budget Fund statement and discussions on budget issues identified prior to Thursday’s meeting.
Once the discussions are wrapped up, the City Council will be asked on March 16 to set a public hearing for April 6 on the proposed property tax levy. Once that hearing is held and a resolution approving the maximum property tax is adopted on April 6, the Council will then set a public hearing for April 20 on the proposed budget. The Council will also be asked on April 6 to set an April 20 public hearing on Amendment #1 to the FY 22/23 budget.
The FY 23-24 budget needs to be filed with the County auditor by April 30.
The City Council in-depth meeting will begin at 6 p.m. or shortly thereafter depending on the length of the budget meeting. The public is welcomed to attend the both meetings in person but public comments on the proposed budget will not be heard until the April 6 public hearing.
Citizens who do not want to attend the in-depth meeting in person can watch and/or participate through the GoToMeeting virtual meeting portal. Information on joining the virtual session and how to make a comment during the meeting is listed below.
The session will also be broadcast live on the City of Muscatine YouTube channel and on Civic-TV (Muscatine Power & Water Cable Channel 2).
The budget discussion will not be televised or held virtually.
On the in-depth agenda:
- A presentation by Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hartman on proposed International Fire Code updates that will are a part of the City Code of Muscatine;
- A presentation by Captain of Patrol Jeff Jirak on the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Program; and,
- A presentation by Director of the Water Resource & Recovery Facility Jon Koch on participation by the City of Muscatine in the Choose Green Business program.
Information on the other agenda items can be found by clicking AGENDA to download a PDF version of the City Council agenda and/or attachments.
To view or participate virtually, click on the link below or call in to the GoToMeeting. Be sure to mute your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone (press *6 when using phone or mute button on computer). At the appropriate time, you will be able to unmute your device to ask a question or make a comment. The public can also use the “chat” feature on GoToMeeting to pose a question to the Mayor, Council, or staff member. Those wishing to speak should use the chat box to post a message that will be seen by the Mayor who will address the questions or call on the speaker in turn. Those using their phones must wait until the Mayor asks for additional comments. The mayor will recognize you prior to you addressing the Council.
Muscatine City Council Meeting | Thursday, March 9, 2023 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (CDT)
Join the meeting from your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone by clicking the following link: https://www.gotomeet.me/CityofMuscatine/city-council-meeting
You can also use your phone by dialing +1 (669) 224-3412, follow the prompts, and type in Access Code 970-499-597 when prompted.
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/970499597