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Tax Cut

County votes to decrease tax levy

HARTINGTON — Cedar County Commissioners are asking taxpayers for less property tax money this year.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a $24,683,545 budget. The County will need $6,107,780 in property tax receipts in order to support the budget. Last year, the County requested $6,244,975 in property taxes.

This decreases the levy by four-tenths of a cent — from .247968 last year to .244315 this year.

Cedar County Clerk Dave Dowling said most of the decrease comes from the Cedar County Road Dept. Extra funds were needed last year to make repairs because of the floods.

Cedar County Commission Chairman Dave McGregor said the 2019 flooding forced the county to raise taxes last year, but that’s not the case this year.

“Last year, there was just so much expense because of the flooding,” McGregor said. “We just had so much to take care of last year.”

Dowling said the budget was able to remain flat because all elected officials requested similiar budgets to last year with no major changes to their operating expenses.

“There really are no big purchases for anybody this year,” Dowling said. “It was pretty much standard operating procedure in all departments.”

This year’s budget also reflects a 2.5 percent across the board wage increase for county employees, McGregor said. That raise actually went into affect on July 1.

Even though the tax request is down, the valuation in Cedar County is down, as well. Property valuation in Cedar County showed an $18 million decline this year.

While no one is happy to see a valuation decrease, this year’s decrease was a lot easier to swallow than the valuation decrease the county experienced in 2019 when valuation went down by more than $100 million.

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