The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors last week denied a long-standing tax exemption for property owners for land in the designated "Slough Bill" that will lead to an $18,000 bounty for the Cherokee School District, and $8,000 in additional tax revenue for the County.
Originally derived from 1985 legislation enacted for wetlands identification and preservation, the 2010 "Slough Bill" was presented to the Board by Deputy County Assessor Nancy Nelson.
Noting that 44 Iowa counties no longer approve the tax exemption, Cherokee County joined other area counties in denying the tax exemption involving 2,149 acres in Cherokee County with a valuation of $1,141,265.
Accounting for those 2,149 acres were 57 land owners identifying various timber and recreational property ranging in size from one acre to 170 acres.
The property owners involved must now pay taxes on such land, resulting in the additional revenue for the School District and County, according to County Auditor Kris Glienke.
The Board denied the tax exemption on a 3-1 vote, with Supervisor Jeff Simonsen voting for it "For one more year," and Supervisor Mark Leeds abstaining, saying he is one of the affected property owners with 11.97 Slough acres. Supervisors Terry Graybill, Dean Schmidt, and Larry Prunty voted to deny the exemption.
In other business, the Board approved a contract for Cedar Valley Construction of Cedar Rapids to pave three miles of C-38 from Cherokee to L-51 in the amount of $1,149,146.99. That work is scheduled to begin this week.
The Supervisors approved FY 2009 Cost Allocation Plan for Department of Human Services operating expenses. The County pays the monies and then is reimbursed by the State in the amount this year of $36,000.
The Board also approved an amendment to the Lease Agreement with the Iowa DHS for Juvenile Court Officers office space on the Cherokee Mental Health Institute Campus for $1,298.70 per year, up $60 from last year.
The Supervisors tabled action on a proposed RAGBRAI Ordinance for the July event passing through portions of the county at Washta and Quimby, acknowledging that they still have an ordinance on the books from the last time RAGBRAI passed through the County.
The Board also heard from James Patterson of Rock Township regarding County snow removal equipment allegedly wrecking a portion of his fence. The Board instructed County Engineer Dave Shanahan to investigate the claim and report back at a later date.