Property tax hike to come before FD council Monday

The property tax rate in Fort Dodge would increase by 4 percent under a proposal to be considered by the City Council on Monday.

The new property tax rate proposed for the 2013-2014 fiscal year is $20.82 per $1,000 of taxable value.

The current property tax rate is $19.92 per $1,000 of taxable value.

The council will meet at 5 p.m. Monday in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S.

The elected officials are scheduled to start their work by reviewing more proposed spending plans for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Budgets for the downtown parking system, the mayor and city manager’s office, the council, legal services, the Municipal Building and other buildings, tort liability insurance, human resources, information technology, and debt service will be considered.

Increased costs for employee benefits are a major factor driving the property tax increase, according to a draft presentation to the council that City Manager David Fierke will present Monday.

According to data in that presentation, the portion of the tax levy that pays for employee benefits will rise by 91 cents to $6.84 per $1,000 of taxable value.

Other major components of the levy are:

$8.10 for the general fund, which pays for police and fire protection plus many other government functions.

$4.40 for paying off general obligation bond debt.

61 cents for liability insurance.

42 cents for Dodger Area Rapid Transit.

27 cents emergency levy to help balance the general fund.

12 cents to support Citizens Central, the senior citizens center.

6 cents for the Karl King Municipal Band.

For the past several years, the city has also had a 2 cents per $1,000 of taxable value levy to help support the Webster County Emergency Management Agency. That is not included in the proposed tax rate for 2013-2014.