Local Update

Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa Local Update

Asking the right questions

Suppose you set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account to fulfill a five-year pledge you made to a capital campaign for your church; or to construct the Botanical Center’s outdoor gardens; or to build the University of Iowa’s … Continue reading

Can taxpayers ever get a break?

As the public pension crisis unfolded, the entity that sets accounting standards for governments decided that more disclosure of unfunded pension liabilities was needed. These are huge numbers (almost $6 billion in in Iowa), and, for the most part, have … Continue reading

Why Priorities Don’t Get Funded

With the closing of the 2015 legislative session this year has come a chorus of lamentations about money that didn’t get spent, and how important interests from school children to outdoor recreation and environmental protection will suffer as a result. … Continue reading

There’s More to the Story Than Tax Rates

This is the time of year when local governments finalize their budgets for the coming year (starting July 1). One of the first things people look at is what’s happening with the property tax rate. Often a city will proudly … Continue reading

Your property tax bill is talking

Property tax payments must be paid by September 30 and March 30 of each year. If you’re like most people, you will not write a check for the payment on September 30th. Instead, it’s folded into your monthly mortgage payment … Continue reading

“User Fee” or “Harmful, New Tax”

Des Moines Right-of-Way Management Fee Proposal On Monday, September 8, 2014 the City of Des Moines approved a first reading of an adjustment to their right-of-way management fees.  These are fees that are charged to utilities and other companies to … Continue reading

Full Disclosure Needed on Public Pension Risks

In this year’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Omaha’s Warren Buffett referred to public pensions as a “gigantic financial tapeworm that was born when promises were made that conflicted with a willingness to fund them.” He warned that local … Continue reading