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home : news : news Tuesday, May 24, 2016

8/24/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Equalization order to increase Clinton ag land values

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

A state equalization order on property values will raise the assessed value of agricultural property in the city of Clinton by 54 percent but will have no impact on other Clinton County property, assessor Rollie Ehm told the Clinton County Board of Supervisors Aug. 19.

A tentative equalization order issued Aug. 12 by the Iowa Department of Revenue will raise ag land values in Clinton as a result of high corn and been prices in 2010 and 2011 that impact the formula used to determine assessed values.

Property outside of Clinton won't be affected because the Clinton County Board of Supervisors increased ag land values earlier this spring as part of the re-valuation process required every two years.

"What we did earlier this year fell within their target range," Ehm said, noting the county increased ag land values by 52 percent.

If the supervisors had waited, land values would have gone up slightly more due to the equalization order, he said.

"We were suppose to go to 54 percent, but because we did it ourselves we put on less value in the spring. We have some processes we can go through to trim it back a little bit," Ehm said.

Ehm said the move will lessen the impact of the jump in values on the county's agricultural land owners when the state issues the annual rollback meant to lessen the impact commodity prices have on land values.

Last year's rollback factor was 60 percent. Ehm previously said he expects a rollback of around 45 percent this year.

The state will issue a final equalization order Oct. 1, and the rollback will be issued around Nov. 1, he said.

The increase in land values will affect tax bills Clinton County residents receive in August 2014.

Speed limit reduced

in construction zones

At the recommendation of the county engineer, the supervisors approved a policy establishing a reduced speed limit of 35 mph in construction zones.

Kinney said most drivers don't reduce their speed in work areas despite signage asking them to do so, and the issue was brought up in recent road department safety meetings.

Without a policy in place, there is no way to legally enforce the reduced speed limit, Kinney said.

Approval of the policy will allow law enforcement to issue speeding tickets for drivers violating the speed in work zones, Kinney said, and the sheriff's office could be asked to place additional patrols in areas where violations are a problem.

Closed session canceled

An anticipated closed session for the appeal of a claim for rental assistance was not held because the issue was revolved separately.

Kim Ralston, director of community assistance programs, said the issue was resolved after clarifying how to handle deductions for expenses that have been paid using a credit card.

Other business

In other business, the board:

•Approved the first reading of a revised zoning ordinance for the Outback Subdivision planned unit development, located near Folletts.

•Scheduled a public hearing for 10 a.m. Sept. 16 for the proposed relocation of drainage infrastructure in Drainage District 20.

•Approved the termination of Trevan Burn as a seasonal employee in the maintenance department.

•Approved an amendment to the contract with IIW Engineers and Surveyors for design of the parking lot and storm water drains at a cost of $11,900.

•Approved the purchase of a used Mustang skid loader from low bidder Kunau Implement at a cost of $15,000 with trade-in of an old forklift.

•Approved updating the agreement with Clinton National Bank for the zoning office credit card to establish a new user due to the hiring of a new director.

•Approved a wine permit for Linda Jacobsen, doing business as the Holiday Hutt.

•Authorized the chairperson to sign the final report for the 2012/13 substance abuse prevention grant.

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