Cerro Gordo supervisors approve Fiscal Year 2022 budget with drops in levies
MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors today approved an almost $39 million budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1st.
The countywide levy is dropping from $6.05 per $1000 assessed valuation in the current fiscal year to $5.78 per $1000. The rural levy for those who live outside of a city is dropping from $3.45 to just over $3.43.
County budget director Heather Mathre says the levy is dropping because of decreases in the mental health and debt service portions of the formula. “The mental health levy, that’s where we have a major drop, switching to another agency is where that is coming from. The debt service also had a drop when we refunded the bonds for the law enforcement center, so we’ll see some savings in that.” The mental health levy dropped from 45 cents per $1000 to 27 ½ cents.
Mathre says almost half of the budget goes toward public safety, legal services, roads and transportation. “The area we spend the largest piece of the pie is public safety and legal services. That would include our sheriff’s department, which is the jail and patrol, our county attorney’s department, our child support and there’s a variety of other smaller departments within there. The next section is roads and transportation, and 22% of our dollars go there.”
Board chairman Casey Callanan says the county’s levy has consistently gone down over the past several years while valuations have gone up. “We as a board and as a county are acting responsible for the taxpayers in that we’re still making progress in trying to better our community with projects and making sure we’re keeping people safe, yet trying to get taxpayers a little bit of money back in their own pocket, and I think that always makes us feel good.”
Capital projects included in the budget include $2 million to finish up the new secondary roads building, $1.5 million on secondary roads, and $60,000 on trails.
For taxpayers that live in Mason City, about 17% of a property owner’s tax bill will be from the county, while the City of Mason City and the Mason City Community School Districts will be the largest taxing authorities at about 40% each of your tax bill.