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Death and taxes

Published: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 10:59 a.m. CDT

Here are some things you should know about some of your upcoming tax bills.

They are going up! I don’t see how any governmental entity can lower their tax rate. The national debt is now so high without chopping out a couple of departments, there is no way President Trump or anyone else can lower taxes. The bad news is the national debt has blown up so much in the last eight years, the interest on the debt is now going to cost us $160 billion for every 1 percentage point the interest rate goes up.

So if we make it to 3 percent like the Fed wants to do over the next three years, this will add almost half a trillion more to the interest debt. Most of the countries, cities and counties are in almost the same shape. That is more due to infrastructure and pension problems. That same low interest rate is also causing problems with many pension programs. Iowa is already $5.3 billion under-funded and will continue to be under-funded over the next few years unless interest rates take off.

Creston City

The streets are in pretty rough shape. The city will soon look at doing $5 million of new and repaired streets. It will not be enough to do the whole city, but at least get going on some of the really bad streets. The water rates just went up 15 percent the first of this year and the sewer rates will go up a small percentage in July. A reminder that your sewer rate is a percentage of your water rate, so you also took a jump on your sewer rate already this year. 

Assessment

A number of people are pretty unsettled with the assessments they just received in the mail. Many homes and businesses are up to 20 percent more compared to their last assessment. More businesses than homes took big increases.

Union County

The county roads are in “just as good of shape” as the city roads. So, look for a bond issue in the near future to try and shore up some of the county roads and bridges. Plus, the county hasn’t done a good job of helping out the taxpayers with all the great health care benefits they keep supplying the county employees. Plus, many of the employees are over the average county wage for their positions.

Creston Community Schools

The new ISL tax (Instructional Support Levy tax) looks to generate more than $570,000 per year. If you divide that out you are looking at around $75 dollars a year for every man, woman and child in Creston. The money is being generated with both property tax and income surtax money. Thank goodness there are some budget cuts going on, otherwise I would guess we would be in far worse shape.

Alliant

Our local energy company is looking for a 12.5 percent increase in your electric bill. They just put a 8.3 percent temporary increase in as of April 13. If given by the State Utilities Board, this 12.5 percent increase would increase the “typical” bill up around $170 per year.  Wow! If you add all these together the average three-person household will be looking at an extra $600 or more per year.

Conclusion

I read an interesting fact last week that says the average American dies with almost $62,000 in debt. With more years like this one, it will be more than that in the future!

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