Taxation without our voice

Recently, a task force created a 28E agreement to have Marshall County’s 911 Commission stand as a separate entity which will have the ability to assess tax on properties for its budgeting needs. I sat on this task force. This seems to be a sound decision on its face but the funding needs to be scrutinized.

This 28E agreement means that the City of Marshalltown, and Marshall County will no longer have to budget the expenditure for the costs of providing this 911 system. My concern is about the property tax that the city and county levied, and will this property tax also simply move to the 911 Commission?

Marshall County Supervisor Chairman Bill Patten stated that Marshall County would move the cost of the 911 system out of their budget expenditures, and also the property tax that they collect would go down by a corresponding amount – which means that to the property taxpayers, this is a net zero; county property tax would simply be moved to the 911 commission for this amount.

I asked Marshalltown Mayor Lowrance if the city intended to do the same (to reduce the 911 expenditure and also the same amount property tax asking). He stated that possibly reducing this property tax would be dealt with in their budgeting sessions. I could not persuade neither he, nor City Administrator Jessica Kinser, to simply state their intent to reduce the property taxation by the amount ($582,000) that the city would no longer have to contribute.

During the November 13th Marshalltown City Council meeting, the 28E agreement for the 911 commission was on the agenda. During public comment, I again raised my concern; noting city administrator Kinser’s comment in the council packet that the impact of passing the 911 28E agreement was simply a reduction in expenditures of $582,000, with NO likewise reduction in property tax asking! I could get no comment about the INTENT of the city to reduce tax asking by this same amount.

It certainly looks to me that our city intends to continue to levy this property tax and reap the benefit into their general budget, while allowing property taxpayers to be taxed for the 911 Commission also. That is a net $582,000 tax increase to the city onto the property taxpayers in Marshalltown!

Voice your concern: Marshalltown city leaders who will be soon budgeting for the next year.