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Fort Madison Budget Approved

Fort Madison, IA – Fort Madison's property tax rate will go up next year. The Fort Madison City Council has approved the city's spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July. The city's property tax rate will go up 19 cent, compared to the current budget. A change in the state's property tax formula will likely result in lower tax bills, though, for most homeowners. The budget does not include any lay-offs or service cuts, even though the issues were discussed throughout the process. The city council used fee increases and large fund transfers to balance the spending plan. City leaders are also counting on voters approving a shift in the local option sales tax to help generate new money. An election will be held April 11. Voters will be asked to allow the city to use 80% of the money generated by the tax for the general fund and 20% for streets. Currently, the split is 60% - 40%. The shift is expected to generate about $180,000 a year in additional funding for the general fund, which includes the police, fire and parks departments.