The head of the Iowa State Association of Counties says while times have been tough the past few years, there’s a new “fiscal crisis” looming for counties, cities and schools. Iowa State Association of Counties executive director Bill Patterson says the value of agricultural land for property tax purposes is based on a “productivity formula” and on July 1st, agland values will decrease by 19 percent across the state. In some counties, the reduction will be as high as 35 percent. Patterson says county budgets will take a 43-million dollar hit because of the roll-back in agricultural land values. Patterson says county officials aren’t suggesting those who own agricultural land should pay more property taxes, but he says there seems to be a “disconnect” between what somebody can sell their property for — the market value — and the property tax valuation on which they pay taxes. Patterson says “this is an impending fiscal crisis for counties and schools and to a certain degree cities as well.” He says lawmakers and other interested parties need to figure out a new system.
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