Annual Budget Policy
The annual budget policy is beyond a doubt the single most important document considered by the mayor and council each year. It determines how the citizens of Indianola will be protected and served and what the quality of life will be - as well as at what cost.
The annual budget process begins with reviewing each department's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) budget. Department heads provide information on budget priorities to the City Council. Prioritizing is a very important factor when resources are not adequate to address all the needs. The Council then approves, denies or delays the projects and purchases based on public input, goal setting sessions and input from the city Manager and staff.
The tax base may well be the most important aspect of the tax rate equation. It also is the factor over which the city has the least control. Equalization orders and rollback, both of which are set by the Iowa legislature adjust the tax base up or down. The effect has been a shrinking tax base for existing property. Rollbacks have included commercial and industrial properties but mostly affect residential, which further reduces revenue. Economic development efforts also have a strong influence on the tax base. Drawing commercial and industrial development to Indianola will, in the long term, expand the tax base.
Providing Quality Services
When you consider all aspects of how the tax rate is calculated and the effort that is made to continue providing quality services at an affordable price, you may well be impressed with Indianola's ranking compared to other Iowa communities. If you have any questions on the budget process or tax rate, or if you would like information on the tax rate comparison of other communities please contact City Manager Ryan Waller at 515-961-9410.