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Property tax rollbacks affect Linn-Mar district
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · November 9th, 2017

Linn-Mar Community School District Superintendent Quintin Shepherd provided information in the Linn-Mar District Board Book about property tax rollbacks which will be important to school funding for the fiscal year 2019.

According to the information, the rollback percentages were given for these particular groups: commercial/industrial/railroads, residential, agricultural property, utilities and multi-residential property.

Here are budget years and rollback percentages for FY2018,

then 2019:

Commercial/industrial/railroad - 90% (2018) and 90% (2019)

Residential - 56.9391%, 55.6209%

Agricultural property - 47.4996%, 54.4480%

Utilities - 100%, 100%

Multi-residential - 82.5%, 78.75%

The explanation for the above figures states "The rollback is the percentage of a property's value that is subject to property tax."

A sample of a residential piece of property which has an assessed value of $200,000 was used for the explanation. It is not taxed on the full amount. Instead, the tax calculation for the fiscal year 2019 would be on the value of $111,242, or approximately 56 percent of the $200,000 assessed value of the property.

The explanation also noted that without any adjustments, inflation usually causes property market values to increase, and property taxes as well. However, Iowa Code allows a reduction of property tax amounts according to assessment limitations to "cushion the impact of inflation."

Further Board Book comments about the rollback mention significant property tax reform measures back in 2013. They served two purposes. First, they reduced the commercial/industrial rollback from 100 percent to 95 percent now. Second, they put multi-residential property into a separate class so that the property rollback went from 100 percent to 78.75 percent for FY 2019.

This rollback is expected to decrease steadily until it is equal to the residential rollback.

Because of the reduction of the commercial and multi-residential rollbacks, Linn-Mar's tax base growth slowed over the last five years. It averaged 3 percent growth instead of matching the average for the five years before that, which was 5.3 percent growth.

Linn-Mar's elementary schools have been on a trimester reporting format, while the middle schools and high school have operated on a quarterly format. This is a topic about which the Board wishes to hear from Linn-Mar families. Anyone who wishes to comment can contact Shannon Bisgard, Kelly Kretschmar, or any elementary principal.

The district is also currently collecting information about technology for student learning. The district is asking students, educators and families about the use of technology in school and at home to provide information for BrightBytes. A framework called CASE is used for providing input. It stands for "Classroom factors, Access to technology, teacher and student Skills, and Environmental factors."

The next Linn-Mar Board meeting is slated for Monday, November 20.
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