Sheldon FY 19-20 tax infographic

Proposed or approved levy rates per $1,000 of taxable valuation from various entities in Sheldon. 

SHELDON—A person with a $100,000 home within Sheldon city limits can expect a collective taxable valuation of $2,739 for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

This estimate is based on the various approved or proposed levy rates per $1,000 of taxable valuation from the city of Sheldon, Northwest Iowa Community College, O’Brien County and the Sheldon School District.

Collectively, the four entities proposed taxable valuation is $36.50, which is about a $5 increase from the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The largest increase comes from the city of Sheldon, which approved a 13.5-cent civic center levy for the upcoming fiscal year. A majority of the funds generated from this tax will go toward supporting the upkeep of the $5.3 million Crossroads Pavilion.

Additionally, the city of Sheldon raised the levy from $13.86 in the current fiscal year to $15.44 for the upcoming fiscal year.

The city of Sheldon also has a local option sales tax, or LOST, which the city does not levy for. This voter-approved measure means that one percent of goods sold in Sheldon goes to the city.  

Should the city of Sheldon enter a franchise agreement with MidAmerican Energy Co. — discussions remain ongoing — it could enact a franchise fee, which is a tax all but in name.

Franchise fees serve as a revenue source for cities through an agreement reached with a community’s utility provider in which the company attaches an additional line item on a customer’s bill.

MidAmerican provides electric and natural gas services to Sheldon.

In exchange, the utility is granted the right of way in public areas and, with approval from the city council, can authorize the use of eminent domain on landowners. Other stipulations can be negotiated by both sides.

At a rate of 3 percent, a person with a $237 monthly bill would see an increase of $7.11 on their bill. MidAmerican also estimates the city could generate an additional $375,000 from citizens at that rate.

However, should the city enter in a franchise agreement, it would have to eliminate LOST.

While the city had the steepest increases, it was not the only Sheldon entity to raise or consider taxes.

When it meets today (Wednesday, April 10) the Sheldon School District Board of Education will consider approving a budget with a slightly higher property tax levy and an increase in the physical plant and equipment levy.

The property tax levy may go from $12.13 to $12.27 with PPEL increasing from 90 cents to $1.34. The $1.34 rate is the maximum rate, which was approved for a 10-year period ending in 2026.

Sheldon superintendent Cory Myer previously noted some of the benefits the district could see by increasing PPEL.

At a higher PPEL rate, the district gains potential funding for additional salaries by moving expenses paid through the general fund, such as buying a new bus, and using PPEL or Secure an Advanced Vision for Education funding for those expenses, thus leaving more funding in the general fund.

Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon raised its rate from 79 cents to 99 cents.

The 20-cent increase is the result of a 25-cent increase due to the new general obligation bond levy voted by area taxpayers in April 2018, coupled with a 5-cent decrease in various other smaller levy categories, according to Mark Brown, NCC’s vice president of operations and finance.

O’Brien County was the lone entity that lowered its tax rate in the upcoming fiscal year. The county’s rate for urban or incorporated areas dropped from $4.12 to $3.69, according to county auditor Barb Rohwer.

This story has been updated to correct how local options sales tax dollars are collected.