Clear Lake City Council to hold “Truth in Taxation” hearing tonight

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council tonight holds its “Truth in Taxation” preliminary hearing for the city’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget. State lawmakers recently eliminated the “Max Levy” hearing that had been done for a number of years and replaced it with the “Truth in Taxation” hearing, which comes after the notice taxpayers received in their mailbox recently.

The city’s finance director Jacob Widman says the city’s tax levy will be increasing slightly from $9.65 to $9.85 per $1000 assessed valuation. Widman says expenditures in the new budget are a bit higher than the past.  “We’re looking at for FY ‘25 budget, our total expenditures being about $25.9 million, and for FY ‘24 amended being $23.4 million. Those are higher than our budgets have been in the past. In the past we’ve been closer to that $20 million figure, and a lot of that has to do with the Surf District project coming up.”

The “Truth in Taxation” hearing will take place at 5:15 tonight at City Hall and will be followed by the regularly-scheduled first council meeting of the month at 5:30 where the council will address several issues. Among those will be:


== Setting the council’s April 15th meeting as the date for the final public hearing on the budget and it’s adoption


== The council tonight will hear a review of the new City of Clear Lake and joint North Iowa Comprehensive Plan that includes Mason City and Cerro Gordo County


== The council will also hold a public hearing and approve the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimate of cost for the Surf District Music Enrichment & Immersive Center, the two-story facility that will be located directly west of the Surf Ballroom. The building will be the hub and starting point for a comprehensive multi-building historical tour outlining the history of the Surf Ballroom and Surf District. The estimated cost of the project is about $5.2 million.