Darryl Ten Pas talks levy at council

Sioux Center Finance director Darryl Ten Pas speaks to the Sioux Center City Council about the proposed general fund budget for the next fiscal year and the proposed general fund tax levy.

SIOUX CENTER—The Sioux Center City Council set 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 as the time and day for the public hearing on the proposed tax levy for the next fiscal year, which will start July 1, 2020.

The city proposes a levy of $11.256 per $1,000, a reduction of 0.7 percent from the current fiscal year.

This is the 11th consecutive year that the city’s levy has had no change or has decreased.

Sioux Center Finance director Darryl Ten Pas figured that the new levy would mean about $620 in city taxes for a house valued at $100,000, $930 in taxes for a $150,000 home, and $1,240 for a $200,000 home.

Ten Pas cited an increase in assessed values up to 8.98 percent, a decreased need for benefits levy revenue and ongoing cost control measures as reasons for the proposed levy decrease.

“Although the tax levy is decreasing, the total amount of tax revenue will increase because of continued growth in assessed valuations,” he wrote in the agenda packet. “This is due to additional construction adding new value and taxable valuations of current properties increasing.”

The budget proposal summary estimates that the city would collect $2,933,897 under this proposal, an increase from the current fiscal year’s estimated $2,699,577.

This decrease means a 4.03 percent decrease in taxes paid for residential properties and a 0.69 percent decrease for commercial and industrial properties for the next fiscal year.

Ten Pas also noted in the packet that these percentages are only valid for the city’s portion of an individual’s tax bill, comprising only 32 percent of what a property owner would pay in property taxes.

The remaining 68 percent comes from levies set by the Sioux Center School District Board of Education, the Sioux County Board of Supervisors and the NCC Board.

Although the actual tax levy is proposed to be $11.256, the public notification lists the amount as $10.94171. This was no misprint, as there is a reason for the discrepancy, according to Ten Pas.

He said that the public notification, following state rules, does not take into account the city’s debt service.

Debt service refers to city debt from city projects that is technically part of the levy.

The general fund as proposed for the next fiscal year calls for $9,856,000 in spending and estimates $9,792,000 in revenue.

The police department wants to raise its salaries and wages portion of the budget by $58,200 from the current fiscal year.

That increase is so that the department can add another position, something city manager Scott Wynja said is needed to keep up with city growth.

That increase brings up the department’s salaries and wages from $506,800 to $565,000.

Overall, the police department is requesting $971,780 for the next fiscal year.

Similarly, the ambulance department requested an increase in their salaries and wages so that they could afford additional part-time hours.

Their request for $217,880 represents a $42,880 increase from the current fiscal year.

As a whole, the city’s capital outlays budget will be reduced according to the general fund budget proposal.

It calls for $1,181,200 to be budgeted for capital outlay work compared to this year’s projected amount of $1,514,285. This is the result of the conclusion of some projects that had happened in the current fiscal year.