If it were boxing, one might call the State Appeal Board’s ruling in the case between Floyd County and a group of county taxpayers a “split decision.”
The State Appeal Board Monday voted to uphold the county’s fiscal year 2022 budget, but also ordered the county to cut spending by more than $1 million. In April, the Coalition for Better County Government, presented a petition protesting the budget passed by the county’s Board of Supervisors. During a mid-May public hearing at Wrightz Auction in Floyd, both sides presented their arguments to the appeal board.
The coalition believes the county overspent its budget, most notably in the construction of the new, yet-to-be-completed, law enforcement center at the Floyd County Courthouse in Charles City. They claim that resulted in raising landowners’ taxes to a level unreasonable and unaffordable.
The county countered the project was necessary because of conditions at the existing county jail and costs would only increase if it was delayed. The county also argued that a recent county-wide appraisal as well as other issues contributed to the necessary tax increase.
The State Appeal Board Monday followed the recommendation of the state Office of Management’s to uphold Floyd County’s existing budget, because the coalition’s arguments didn’t meet the burden of proof required to reduce a budget. While the county was successful in showing the increased taxes were necessary and reasonable, the ruling says the county had made a critical error in its budget process and that required action by the board. The county must now trim more than $1 million in its spending next year. It’s unknown at this time if that will mean a property tax rate adjustment for next fiscal year.