Cerro Gordo County property tax rates to decline, but county would take in more revenue under budget plan

MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors on Monday held their “Truth in Taxation” budget hearing. The general tax levy as well as the additional levy for rural property owners will be going down slightly, but with higher assessments to properties in the county, the county will be planning to spend more money in the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1st.

The general tax rate is proposed to decrease from $5.36 to $5.34 per $1000 assessed valuation, while the rural levy is proposed to go down from $3.39 to $3.29 per $1000.

County budget director Heather Mathre says the new state budgeting laws required the county to drop their levies due to an over 3% increase in assessments.  “So it’s going down, and that is because of the state’s House File 718 that if your value as a county has grown more than 3%, they are going to, using this formula, make you lower your tax rate, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Mathre says despite the drop in the tax rates, the county will be taking in more property tax revenue due to an increase in property valuations. “Our values did increase. We are requesting a few more dollars, but the tax rate is going to change.”

The county is looking to use the additional revenues to address increases in wages and insurance, vehicle and liability insurance, equipment purchases and to add an employee in the Conservation Department.