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No longer No. 1: County tax levy lower for 2013-14

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013 11:55 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 11:45 a.m. CDT
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The top 10 county levies are: 1. Wayne — 14.67010 2. Lucas — 14.06489 3. Union — 13.79575 4. Clarke — 13.40919 5. Taylor —12.47361 6. Monroe — 12.36090 7. Des Moines — 12.34152 8. Appanoose — 12.06340 9. Montgomery — 11.98903 10. Calhoun — 11.56321

Union County was able to vacate their top position as the highest county tax levy in the state of Iowa.

Residents can expect to pay 13.79575 percent for the 2013-14 county levy, trailing Wayne and Lucas counties.

A lower county tax does not mean total taxes are lower for 2013-14. The county tax is just a piece of the larger puzzle of taxing entities.

Depending on the taxing district, there are several factors like school district, hospital, township and/or city that influence how much the total tax is going to be.

“Also, if your valuation (on land) goes up, there are more dollars at the end of the year,” Union County Supervisor Ron Riley said.

For example, if an individual purchases a $100,000 home and the next year the valuation of the property increases to $110,000, just lowering the county tax levy may not result in less total dollars spent on taxes.

One of the contributing factors for a lower county tax levy in 2013-14 is the decrease in Union County’s debt. Supervisors have cut the total almost in half to about $7.1 million.

While Riley believes bonding can be a helpful tool to complete large projects, he and the other supervisors, Lois Monday and Dennis Brown, are working to reduce the total debt before taking on another bond.

“We have been paying off our debt, so the debt service has been going down,” Riley said.

Union County ranks second in the state behind Taylor County for the largest debt service, 2.34676 percent.

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