FAQ FY22 Proposed Budget

FAQ City of Windsor Heights FY22 Proposed Budget

How is the FY22 Proposed Budget changing from the previous year and why? 

The proposed budget for 2021/22 represents an increase of 6.5% overall.  This is due mainly to:

  • Employee wage increase of 3.5% 
  • Health insurance premiums rising by 13.85%
  • Addition of a new forestry program to address ash tree removal 
  • Flood insurance for the Community Center 
  • Replacement of public works and public safety equipment
  • Increased legal fees
  • New funding for economic development initiatives

 The Public Works budget will increase by $35,088 due to increases for:

  • Forestry: $34,500 (New Expense) 
  • Vehicle Repair: $19,500 
  • Salaries: $67,761 
  • Equipment: $7,300 
  • Communications: $4,000 
  • General Insurance: $1,800 
  • Professional Fees: $2,500 
  • Clothing Allowance: $1,100 
  • FICA/IPERS: $5,416
  • Health Insurance: $11,211 
  • Building Repair: decrease of $120,000 

 The Public Safety budget will increase by $169,536 due to increases for:

  • Salaries: $102,886 
  • Vehicle/Equipment Repairs: $10,850
  • General Insurance: $4,500
  • Janitorial: $8,000
  • Contributions & Payments: $43,300

 The General Government budget will increase by $86,534 due to increases for:

  • Legal Fees: $25,000 
  • Cobra: $15,000 
  • Salaries: $13,124 
  • Technology: $13,500
  • FICA/IPERS/Benefits for City Administrator: $9,910
  • Audits: $10,000 

What input do Windsor Heights residents have in the budget process?

The proposed budget was presented to the Mayor and Council and posted on the City’s website at the beginning of February.   The Council reviewed the budget at its regular meeting on March 1 and will be holding a public hearing on March 15.   Citizens interested in offering comments on the proposed budget can do so by submitting email comments or appearing at the public meeting via Zoom.

Does the proposed budget include money for streets?

Yes.  As proposed, the 2021/22 budget includes $940,000 for roadwork on six streets: Crocker Street, Mariner Place, Sunset Terrace, Colby Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, and Wilshire Blvd.  The proposed budget also recommends setting aside $400,000 for the reconstruction of 73rd Street in 2024.  This spring and summer, the City will also be wrapping up more than $15 million in roadwork started in 2020.

 Does the proposed budget include money for parks and trails?

Yes.  The proposed budget recommends almost $1.6 million for a new splash pad, tennis court improvements, a fitness circuit, and playground equipment in Colby Park; new equipment and fencing for the Windsor Heights Dog Park; and setting aside $250,000 for a future trail way connection over Walnut Creek.

I read in news reports that my taxes will be increasing in 2021.  Is this true?

The City’s proposed budget recommends NO CHANGE in the local tax levy.  However, with changes made by the Polk County Assessor to property valuations, property taxes will increase for some property owners.  The City has no hand in determining assessed valuations. The PC Assessor valuation changes for 2021/22 are:

  •  Residential Property: +10.79%
  • Multi-Residential Property: +19.6%
  • Commercial Property: +9.2%
    • Warehouses: +35%
    • Hotels, Restaurants, Health & Recreation, Bars, and Theaters: -30%
    • Vacant Land: +9%
    • Office, Retail, Banks, Grocery, and Fast Food: +3%

The new property valuations set by the County Assessor are expected to generate $35,154 more in revenue for the City of Windsor Heights in FY22 – less than 1% of the total operating budget.

What can I do if I disagree with the Polk County Assessor’s assessment of my property?

Property owners have the option to appeal the new assessed value with the Polk County Assessor. This can be done between April 2nd and April 30th by filling out the form found here: 

http://web.assess.co.polk.ia.us/cgi-bin/web/tt/infoqry.cgi?tt=aboutus/protest_forms  

The Polk County Assessor’s website also goes into detail on the process for filing the appeal at https://www.polkcountyiowa.gov/county-assessor/.

What are the next steps in adopting the budget for FY22?

The Windsor Heights City Council has set a public hearing for March 15, 2021, to hear comments on the proposed budget before taking action to adopt the budget.  If you would like to offer a comment, please do so via email to the City of Windsor Heights or by appearing at the meeting via Zoom.  Information on how to participate in the City Council meeting is available on the City’s website at https://www.windsorheights.org/189/Council-Mayor---City-Council-Meetings

 

 

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