Ottumwa's 2014 budget sees significant decrease in property tax valuation

Ottumwa city officials will be going over the first draft of the proposed budget for 2014 a week from tomorrow.

City Administrator Joe Helfenberger says cuts have been made to the city's administration and finance departments. While the city's commercial and retail businesses saw an increase in tax revenue, Ottumwa's property tax valuation decreased by a little over $24 million. This reduction represents over $417,000 of property tax base that was lost in that service area. The city is expecting to receive around $216,000 of supplemental funding from the state to be implemented over the next two years, but that still leaves an unfunded difference of about $215,000.

â??There's increases there that are going to happen, and so we've been very diligent trying to make cuts and rearrange the way services are provided, provide the existing services,â?? Helfenberger said. â??We're still probably looking at a little bit of a levy increase, but we're trying to make that as minimal as possible though.â??

He says if people have any concerns about the budget, they are eager for your input. You can reach out to city hall by calling the office during business hours at 641-683-0600, or by attending a city council meeting.