Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2017

State to come through with backfill on property taxes

Fairfield passed budget assuming no help from Legislature
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | May 01, 2017

Fairfield City Administrator Mike Harmon said last week the city can expect to receive property tax backfill from the Iowa Legislature.

Harmon said the backfill would amount to about $150,000. The city council approved its 2017-18 fiscal year budget under the assumption it would not receive this money, just to be on the safe side.

“We didn’t want to have a budget based on backfill and then scramble to make significant cuts if the backfill didn’t come from the state,” Harmon said.

Backfill refers to the practice of the state giving to counties the taxes they fail to receive on certain kinds of property. For instance, in Iowa, counties are able to tax commercial properties at 90 percent of their assessed valuation. To offset this loss of revenue, the state will “backfill” counties the tax money they would have received had they been able to tax commercial property at 100 percent.

Jefferson County Treasurer Terri Kness said residential, agriculture and commercial pay taxes on a different portion of their valuation. The percent that property owners pay on those types of property varies each year. Kness said it’s possible property owners could pay more taxes even when their property tax rates have gone down, because their property is assessed at a higher value or because the state allows more of the property to be taxed.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.