CLINTON — When Clinton City Administrator Jeff Kooistra presents the first draft of the municipal budget for the 2007 fiscal year tonight, he will be able to make an unusual statement.

Residential property taxes are set to decrease.

According to the proposed budget supplied by City Hall, the increase in the city’s levy will not be enough to offset the state’s residential rollback factor, which means if the levy stands as proposed, homeowners will be paying less than they have in at least two years.

The city’s total income from tax dollars will increase almost $500,000, from $10,876,273 to $11,316,892. However, an increase of almost $25 million in commercial property valuation, in part tied to a statewide equalization order, makes it possible for homeowners to bear less of the burden.

In the 2005 fiscal year, a home valued at $100,000 generated $743.45 in municipal property taxes. In the current fiscal year, a $100,000 home turned out $763.12. Under the proposed levy — $15.99524 per $1,000 of taxable valuation — a $100,000 home would generate $735.72.

The state’s rollback factor, the level at which residential property is taxed, was 48.45 percent in 2005, is 47.96 percent at present and drops to 45.99 percent in the next fiscal year.

Based on reassessments, improvements and changes in valuation, a home assessed at $100,000 for the 2005 fiscal year may be significantly higher by the time 2007 tax bills are issued, which means the changes won’t be uniform throughout Clinton.

Furthermore, according to Kooistra, the city’s budget isn’t fully balanced. It includes the use of about $300,000 from the general fund subsidy and another $300,000 from the excursion fund — money generated by admissions to the Mississippi Belle II casino — that typically is spent on equipment purchases.

Kooistra said the city’s financial outlook will be better in the 2009 fiscal year as some of the ongoing Archer Daniels Midland projects become taxable, adding to the industrial tax base.

He said the local option sales tax has not been as high as expected, but the state’s estimates show a sizable sales tax increase in two years.

While going through federal accounting standards, the city also found several of its properties were undervalued, which reflects on property insurance.

The only proposed addition to the budget is for a human resources director, a position that was created for the 2004 fiscal year but cut out after the state passed its Reinvent Iowa legislation, causing the city to make severe cuts to an already certified budget.

Department heads and city officials are to gather at City Hall at 4 p.m. today for the first of two budget review sessions.

To calculate the city portion of your property tax bill, use the following steps:

1. Determine the assessed value of your home (Information available at city assessor’s office).

2. Multiply it by the residential rollback factor (45.996%).

3. Divide that figure by 1,000 (since Iowa tax levies are dollars per $1,000 of taxable valuation).

4. Multiply by the proposed levy rate ($15.99524).

Here’s how it works:

1. Assessed value: $100,000.

2. Taxable value (after the rollback): $45,996.

3. Divide by 1,000 to get 45.996.

4. City taxes are $735.72 (45.996 times 15.99524).

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