Linn County’s FY17 budget runs July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. The budget document contains detailed information about the budget, including:
- the process Linn County uses to create the budget through a series of public meetings
- expenditures by service area
- revenue sources
- capital projects
- performance indicators by department
- and more.
The expenditure budget for fiscal 2017 is $107,618,000, an overall increase of $2,501,000 or 2.4% from the fiscal 2016 adopted budget, primarily due to an additional payroll in fiscal year 2017. Linn County budgets on a cash basis and every 11 or 12 years there is a 27th payroll in the fiscal year.
Property taxes levied account for 58% of Linn County's budget. The trend in taxes as a percentage of total revenues and in taxes paid by homeowners is relatively unchanged over time due to the annual budget objective of no significant impact to taxpayers.
Funding decisions as to the best allocation of financial resources were made in accordance with the Linn County Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2017-2021.
Performance Based Budget
Since 1996, Linn County has used the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) approach to performance based budgeting to create its annual budget.
This method measures effort and accomplishments so that performance data can be collected and analyzed, including comparisons with other public and private entities, and informed decisions can be made regarding public services and the efficient use of tax dollars.
Linn County's major classes of expenditures:
- Public safety and legal services
- Physical health and social services
- Mental health
- Roads and transportation
- Capital projects
- County environment and education
- Government services to residents
- Debt service
The FY17 countywide levy rate of $6.14 is the second lowest of the six largest urban counties in the State. This marks the third year in a row that the countywide levy rate has not increased.
Countywide taxable valuation growth for the fiscal 2017 budget is 1.3%, compared to a 3.3% average for the past 10 years, but most taxpayers will pay the same amount in fiscal 2017 as they did in 2016.
Commercial and industrial property will be taxed at 90% of assessed value again in fiscal 2017, following the implementation of legislation that provided for a "rollback" to 95% in fiscal year 2015 and 90% in 2016.
Rural property owners will see an additional $.05 reduction in the rural services levy rate in fiscal 2017 due to increased Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenue. In fiscal year 2015, the levy rate was initially reduced by $0.93 as a result of property tax relief from the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenue approved by rural voters. The rural services levy rate that had been $3.71 for several years will be $2.73 in fiscal year 2017, resulting in a combined rural levy rate of $8.87 paid by residents in the unincorporated areas.
Overall property taxes levied will increase by 1.3% from fiscal year 2016 due to valuation growth.
Approximately 16 percent of property taxes paid by Linn County property owners in incorporated areas are used to fund Linn County government operations and services. The remaining 84 percent of property taxes paid goes to the property tax payer’s city of residence, school district, and other taxing bodies in the county. Linn County taxes represent slightly more than one-third of property taxes for rural residents. Each property tax bill shows the percentage breakdown specific to that property.
Linn County has earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for 20 consecutive years.