The Real Picture

Mr. Fletcher’s analysis of Marshalltown’s tax rate in Saturday’s T-R does not illustrate the real picture. Using a spreadsheet called “tax concompare 16.xlx” found at the state website that he referenced ( you can compare the consolidated tax rate, aka your total tax burden, of all 943 incorporated cities in Iowa. Mr. Fletcher chose to discuss a list of cities that are similar in population: Burlington, Clinton, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Muscatine and Ottumwa. Here is an image of the consolidated tax data for these cities:

The first column is population from the 2010 census followed by a ranking number, City name, and consolidated tax rate. A city with the rank of 1 has the highest tax rate in the state. Marshalltown’s rank is 71. Divide 71 by 943 and you get 8 percent, the percentage shown in the last column. As you can see Marshalltown, and four more of the cities on Mr. Fletcher’s list, are in the top 10 percent of the most highly taxed cities in Iowa. Muscatine is right at the bottom of the top 15 percent. Mason City is at 35 percent. This is the real picture.

Marshalltown needs to stop comparing itself to these cities unless it wants to remain in the top 10 percent of the highest taxed cites in Iowa. Stop being “one of the crowd,” be outstanding.

Adding a new levy for the 911 Commission while holding the general fund at the legal maximum of $8.10 will move the city into the top 6 percent of the most taxed cities in the state. This is the wrong direction.