Ottumwa tax levy rates could rise to over $2

Ottumwa City Council member Skip Stevens listens to Bob Jay propose the next fiscal year budget (Chris Arbino/KTVO).

Ottumwan’s are facing a sharp tax increase from what city administrator Andy Morris calls “a challenging budget year.”

City council held a special meeting Tuesday night to open discussions about the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget.

There are numerous factors leading to a budget proposal that may potentially spike tax levy rates to over $2.

One such factor is the valuation for the city is down $47 million from its last valuation.

City Finance Director Bob Jay told the council that equates to a loss of $392,000 in revenue to the city’s general fund.

Jay also pointed out that healthcare costs are piling up for the city.

"This is unprecedented the number of people that are utilizing the insurance. Never, never. Even a couple years ago, 4 or 5, our rates that were in place could take care of that. We have never had where we've had 13 people, in one year, utilize that much, and that’s a million dollars,"Jay said.

Public hearings about the upcoming budget are scheduled for February 6th.

KTVO will continue to track this story as it develops.

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