Friends and neighbors,

In the recent days the Dyersville City Council has, after a “Virtual” Public Hearing, submitted its revenue and expense budget for FY 2022 to the State of Iowa. This annual action brings us to a point in our business cycle where we can review last year, commit to our plans for next year and take a reading on how this year is progressing.

Perhaps one benefit of having some long-serving elected officials and city staff is that they can share with the taxpayers a long-term perspective of where Dyersville has come from over the past several years.

As part of the recent Property Tax Information meeting, we updated a report (which can be seen on the city website as part of this presentation) which is a summary of the property tax rates and taxes raised over the last 20 years. In 2001-02 our overall real estate tax rate for the city (including debt service) was $10.25223 per $1,000 of taxable property which raised $1,149,418 in revenue. For 2021-22 the tax rate has dropped to $9.34206 which will raise revenue of $2,443,832.

We often hear that yes, the tax rate has gone down but total taxes levied have gone up. As you can see, this is true. When you think for a moment about these numbers, perhaps this trend is the mark of a growing and successful city. Were the opposite to be the case, we would not enjoy the high quality of life our citizens say we have in Dyersville… at tax rate that is lower than it was 20 years ago.

When we take a snapshot of where a business is positioned at present, we look at its balance sheet. Focusing on the physical assets only, we have updated a summary (also available as part of the presentation) where we find the city has completed thirty capital projects in the last 20 years totaling approximately $23,670,000.

If you believe as we do that development follows infrastructure, you can see a big part of why our tax base continues to expand at a very healthy pace. When we compare our overall tax rate (city, county and school district) to other cities we come in at $29.89, per $1,000 of taxable valuation which ranks Dyersville at number 760 out of the 942 cities in Iowa that submit a budget to the state. For what we have in Dyersville this would appear to be a very low tax rate when we compare it to our neighbors.

As we look to the future, we see continuing turbulent times in many cities, states and at the national level. In Dyersville, our community and our municipal government has been and continues to be very stable. This has allowed our city to continue the progress we have made over the last score of years. Here in Dyersville, we will be making a big decision in the near future regarding the 12th and 13th Avenue Bridge project. We are far enough along with planning this venture to bring it into pretty clear focus and make a quality decision on whether to move ahead with it.

Might I close by contemplating the often-asked question: “How is Dyersville doing?” Or asked another way, “Does the city accurately reflect and represent the people who live here?”

Any of us would be on solid ground in responding that Dyersville has been and continues to be: Financially strong, supported and protected by solid families and stable government, growing in both population and physical assets, favored and blessed with relatively low taxes; and, with many good things to do as we move to the future.

Our current efforts, joined with those who have come before us, make the city of Dyersville something in which each of us may deservedly take a measure of pride and satisfaction both now and as we pass this very special place to those who will come after us.