Two speak out at “Truth in Taxation” hearing held by Mason City City Council on FY 2025 budget

MASON CITY — Two people spoke out at last night’s “Truth in Taxation” hearing held by the Mason City City Council on 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 from the county auditor’s office. The two who spoke out expressed concerns about the content of those letters.

City Finance Director Brent Hinson says the amount of property taxes you are paying depends on a number of factors including the assessment.  “For simple terms, you have what your property is assessed at. There’s what’s called a rollback on residential property taxes that’s mandated by the state, dictated by the state, on a number of factors, and then there’s the property tax rate that the city, school, county, and NIACC, and other related entities are charging. That all figures into what your bottom line, what you pay in property taxes is.”

Hinson says the city had nothing to do with the sending out of those letters. “That format and the approach, I think it leaves something to be desired, but that is dictated by the state. Really the county auditor didn’t have any flexibility in producing that notice. They were told what they needed to do and that data was directly pulled from the Iowa Department of Management to kind of fall into their form letter that everybody around the state got.” He says the formulas that the county was using were required by the Iowa Legislature.

The council last night also set their April 16th meeting for the final budget hearing as well as the date to approve the next fiscal year’s budget. To learn more about the proposed budget click here