It has been an interesting past several months for staff with the City of Muscatine as they worked to formulate department budgets. Changes to state code have created weeks of uncertainty as City officials waited to find out if property valuations were going up or going down.
While not knowing exactly how much funding the City would receive in property taxes for the 2024-2025 Fiscal Year, the budget still needed to be prepared and readied for presentation to the Muscatine City Council. After months of work, a balanced budget has been achieved with the City of Muscatine “Budget Season” starting this Thursday night.
City Administrator Carol Webb and Finance Director Nancy Lueck have worked with department heads and members of each department’s staff over the past several months to prepare the proposed budget for City Council’s consideration.
Webb presented an overview of the proposed FY 24-25 budget to the City Council during a special Council session Thursday that took place following the regular City Council meeting. This is the first of a series of budget sessions that will be held in the City Council Chambers over the next several weeks.
Council members, Webb, and City staff members will be present in the City Council Chambers for each session. All sessions are open to the public.
There will not be opportunity for public comment during the budget sessions. The public is urged to take notes, write down any questions or concerns, and bring those questions and concerns up during the Public Hearing for the proposed budget that will be held in April.
Thursday’s meeting will be followed by several weeks of presentations to the City Council by the various departments and outside agencies supported by the City of Muscatine. The first session will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. Sessions will also be held on Feb. 6, Feb. 7, Feb. 8, Feb. 10, Feb. 13, and Feb. 22. The February 22 meeting will be a wrap-up of discussions and a decision on the Property Tax rate.
Two public hearings will again be required. The first hearing is on the proposed property tax levy and is tentatively scheduled for April 14, 2024. The final public hearing is on the adoption of the budget and certification of taxes. That hearing is scheduled for April 18, 2024.
To help cities meet the requirements of holding two public hearings, the State of Iowa moved back the deadline to file an approved budget with the county auditor for certification to April 30. The previous deadline was March 31.
A complete schedule of the meetings along with additional information can be found at 2024/2025 Proposed Budget on the Finance & Records page of the City of Muscatine website.