Letter to the Editor

East Loch taxpayer impact

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

This letter pertains to item number nine of the Board of Supervisors' Dec. 19 agenda regarding: "Discussion/possible action regarding TIF agreement between Dickinson County and Nicholas Poolman/Jeremy Jalas."

The Dickinson County Taxpayers Association is concerned that this Tax Increment Financing agreement with the developer would have negative consequences for the county, school districts, sewer district, community college, county hospital and other taxing jurisdictions.

RUSH TO JUDGEMENT

This TIF agreement suddenly appeared on the Tuesday BOS agenda before it is known if the development will be approved at the Monday Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Why is such speed necessary for the BOS to consider it the day after the P&Z may or may not approve the rezoning and on what conditions?

COMMUNITY REVIEW

In order to make wise decisions, it would be good practice if the BOS and the community had a full opportunity to review the TIF conditions before being asked to approve the agreement. The proposed TIF agreement is both complex and vague. More time is needed to fully understand what is being proposed and evaluate its consequences, not to mention the overriding issue of whether the benefits of this agreement outweigh the costs.

NOT NECESSARY

Dickinson County is the only or one of a few rural counties that are growing. We are fortunate to have the Iowa Great Lakes that draw many visitors and residents. Our assessed valuation because of lakeshore property is one of the highest in the state of Iowa. As a result, our property tax levy rate is one of the lowest in the state. We do not need to offer TIF financing at taxpayer expense to attract growth.

HARM TO THE TAX BASE

The TIF will deny property tax revenue to organizations that depend on property tax for their operations, including school districts, sewer district, community college, county hospital and others.

The Dickinson County Taxpayer Association is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization formed in 1982 with a mission to inform Dickinson County residents and property owners about our tax system. We advocate on behalf of Dickinson County taxpayers. DCTA www.dctataxpayers.org

Yours truly,

Phil Petersen

President