The Daily Iowan

City Council ponders budget past and future

The+representative+from+the+various+districts+and+Iowa+City+Mayor+Jim+Throgmorton+during+the+City+Hall+meeting+on+February+21%2C+2017.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FOsama+Khalid%29
The representative from the various districts and Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton during the City Hall meeting on February 21, 2017. (The Daily Iowan/Osama Khalid)

The representative from the various districts and Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton during the City Hall meeting on February 21, 2017. (The Daily Iowan/Osama Khalid)

The representative from the various districts and Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton during the City Hall meeting on February 21, 2017. (The Daily Iowan/Osama Khalid)


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






By Naomi Hofferber

[email protected]

The Iowa City City Council on Tuesday approved 7-0 an amendment to the 2017 Fiscal Year Operating Budget and OK’d the proposed 2018 Fiscal Year Operating budget.

The fiscal 2018 budget, which will begin July 1, aims to continue providing resources for the strategic plan goals, maintaining the city’s Moody AAA bond rating, and ensuring taxes are at an affordable level.

“I think we’re still in the midst of executing the strategic plan that we developed last year,” Councilor John Thomas said. “But I think we’ve made really remarkable progress on our strategic plan. I’m pleased with the efforts on our side as well as the efforts of our staff as well as on the community side in moving our strategic plan forward.”

City Manager Geoff Fruin presented the council with a look at the future of the budget and trends from past years.

“We’ve had some really good growth; we’ve been able to build some healthy reserves,” he said. “We’ve had success with debt restructuring and early retirements, and that has put us in a good strong position, but year after year, we continue to deal with the erosion of our tax base.”

Fruin said the city lacks confidence in the state to keep its backfill for a long period of time and is preparing if that time comes.

In the 2013 tax amendment, the city reduced the tax of commercial and industrial properties to 90 percent of their value. The 10 percent difference is covered by the backfill, state funding that allows for this amendment. It saves the city around $1.5 million annually.

The tax rate for multi-residential properties is also to drop in the coming years, and reach 63.75 percent of the value in 2023.

“The growth that we’ve had, particularly the last year and the last couple of years, has really helped us manage the first few years of our property-tax reform,” Fruin said.

He said the 2017 year was well on track to match the 2016 building permit revenue.

Councilor Susan Mims expressed concern over consistency in numbers with regard to building permit revenue.

“I think we need to be really cautious when we look at the building-permit revenue and the value of new construction in the last couple of years. Look at that graph that they show for the 2016 building permit revenue was like … over $2 million where we had been,” Mims said. “The decisions and actions that led to those building permits were things that may have been two or three or four years in the making. Building permits don’t come up overnight. When you look back over the last roughly 14 months, our planning and zoning agenda and the planning zoning commission, and what we’ve been acting on in terms of planning and zoning here at the council level has been absolutely dearth in terms of major projects.”

Comments

comments

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Downtown

    Oasis Falafel opens second location in Omaha

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Campus

    UI Student Security kicks off third year of operations

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Campus

    Fulbright Scholar studies water quality in Romania

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Downtown

    Daydreams Comics owner not worried about DC online streaming threat

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Campus

    New program through UI center seeks to end farming-related accidents

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Latest News

    Hawkeye Completion Grant Program helps students with overdue U-Bill Charges

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    UI Hospitals & Clinics

    Student-led group confronts drug-use in Iowa City, advocates legalization of syringe services

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Campus

    Hawkeye Service Teams hopes to modify Alternative Spring Break

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Campus

    UI Counseling Service’s Old Capitol Mall location becomes increasingly popular

  • City Council ponders budget past and future

    Crime/Courts

    Iowa City man suspected of sexually abusing a minor