For another consecutive year in a row, the Jasper County Board of Supervisors have lowered the total county levy for taxpayers.
On Tuesday, March 30, the board of supervisors held a public hearing to review the fiscal year 2022 budget. Before the board voted unanimously in favor to approve the budget, chairman Doug Cupples drew attention to approximately $10.10 levy and supervisors’ work to lower it in recent years.
“In the 2019-20 budget, we were $11.63(697) for our levy,” Cupples said. “In 2021, we went down to $10.44(53). And now in (2021-22) our levy’s lowering again … Pretty exciting.”
According to county documents, the FY22 levy is the lowest it’s been in nearly 13 fiscal years. The next lowest was the FY21 levy at $10.44 and the FY14 levy at $10.93. The FY10 levy was set at $12.32; since that time, the county’s total levy has not exceeded that amount.
Prior to FY21, the county’s total levy had remained the same for four years in a row. The total levy from FY10-FY22 are as follows:
• FY22: $10.10
• FY21: $10.44
• FY20: $11.63
• FY19: $11.63
• FY18: $11.63
• FY17: $11.63
• FY16: $11.34
• FY15: $11.34
• FY14: $10.93
• FY13: $11.11
• FY12: $11.77
• FY11: $11.53
• FY10: $12.32
“Lowering the levy (two) years in a row is a huge win for the citizens of Jasper County,” Cupples said in a statement to Newton News. “Not only is the levy lower this budget, but so are actual tax dollars! I am really proud of all of the department heads, elected officials and employees for keeping your budgets tight.
“It has been a team effort from everyone!”
Jasper County Supervisor Brandon Talsma said in a Facebook video that although the levy was dropped a little bit, it won’t be enough to notice on a tax statement. However, Talsma said FY22 is the third year in a row the county has not raised taxes and said there’s a difference with connect to the levy rate.
“You can (choose to) not raise the levy rate, but your taxes still raise based upon whether evaluations went up or not,” Talsma said. “This will be the third year in a row that Jasper County will not take in a dollar more than what we did the previous year. We’ll see how next year shapes out.”
Talsma added he’s proud to not raise taxes. It takes a lot of work, he said, to look into the budget. There are certain aspects the county can’t control: insurance increases every year, premiums go up, the cost of rock and steel change, among other things.
“So it takes quite a bit of digging and looking at the budget to be able to make sure that it’s staying the same, to make sure that we’re not raising your taxes, to make sure that we’re not pocketing any more than what we did the previous year and still maintain operations,” Talsma said.
The county’s total levy rate in FY21 dropped more significantly, which Talsma credited to the statewide property valuation increase. Talsma said the county dropped its valuation to make up for that and tried to not “arbitrarily” raise citizens’ taxes through those property value increases.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org