The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors went through more budget work on Tuesday in a process that will require trimming $450,000 from the proposals for individual departments or of coming up with added revenues, budget reductions and reduced reserves equivalent to $450,000.
A combination approach is most likely. Cherokee County currently is fourth lowest in Iowa in total county property taxes but might not hold this distinction in the future. The supervisors are considering supplemental levies to pay for specific expenses that qualify for such levies.
Two new sheriff's department vehicles will likely be paid for out of reserve funds, according to an unofficial decision made at the Tuesday meeting.
To add to budget woes, the revenues will come up short from official estimates because of a pending settlement from a lawsuit challenging valuations of four major properties in Cherokee County. The Hy-Vee Distribution Center, Tyson's and two elevators have challenged the valuation made on their properties.
The settlements might require not only loss of future revenue but repayment of previously paid taxes. The settlement would not only affect county revenue but also revenue of other taxing entities, particularly the Cherokee School District.
A proposed budget must be ready for publication by mid February for publication which is required before a public hearing at which final approval of the budget can be given.