Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
August 25, 2011     N. Warren Town and County News
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August 25, 2011

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OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR AND NORWALK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT ~ ,,I,,I,,I,l,l,l,,I,l,,l,l"hl'll !1 lil,,,l,l,l,I :~ i i ill llll Warren Town and County ws 50 Vol. 43 No. 14 Norwalk, Iowa 50211 USPS No. 395-120 Phone 981-0406 emaih news@norwalknewspaper.com Thursday, August 25, 2011 Proposed Property Tax Equalization Orders Issued Iowa Department of Revenue Director Courtney Kay- Decker notified county auditors recently of assessment adjustments, or "equalizations," on agricultural, com- mercial and residential values. By law, every two years the Department is required to "equalize" property tax assessments for all property classes in all assessing jurisdictions. Equalization is ac- complished by increasing or decreasing the aggregate valuations of certain classes of property within each assessing jurisdiction. Equalization helps ensure that all classes of property have been assessed at the value ac- cording to state law and that taxation is applied equita- bly statewide. An equitable assessment level among counties is also necessary to ensure fair distribution of school aid and other state services. There are assessors in 99 counties and in eight cities, for a total of 107 as- sessing jurisdictions. The Department equalizes the fol- lowing classes of property: agricultural, residential and commercial. The current equalization orders apply to January 1, 2011 assessments. This year, the Department will issue 30 orders: 18 orders for agricultural property, three or- ders for residential property and nine orders for com- mercial property. This is down from the last equaliza- tion in 2009 when the Departnlentissued 64 orders: 31 for agricultural property, 13 for residential property and 20 for commercial property. Residential and commercial assessments are based upon the sales price of property or its "market value." However, agricultural assessments are more compli- cated. The assessment of agricultural property is based upon the productivity of the property as opposed to its market value. The Department has developed a formula that city and county assessors are to use in assessing the productivity of agricultural property. Under the for- mula, assessments for agricultural property ate increas- ing 25% in 2011. This increase can primarily be attrib- uted to the high crop prices seen within the last two years. However, Iowa law also requires the use of a state- wide "rollback" factor that is applied uniformly to all property assessments within a class to limit the growth in the taxable value of the class to 4% in aggregate. Be- cause agricultural productivity had increased so much under the formula, the Department provided informa- tion to assessors last spring in advance of the equaliza- tion orders. A majority of assessors made changes to assessments at that time a..~d therefore will not be re- ceiving equalization order:= for their agricultural prop- erties. The Department issues p~'eliminary equalization or- ders in August and final ~-ders in October. The final equalization orders are to ;~: published in local official newspapers by October 15. Taxpayers will then have an opportunity to appeal increases in their assessments to their local Boards of Review from October 16-25. A chart showing the tentative adjustments issued to county au- ditors can be found on the Department's Website at http:/ /iowa.gov/tax/locgov/11Char~:l.pdf. Authorized officials may request a hearing to p:esent additional informa- tion that may affect the equa~C' a tion adjustments in their counties. In addition, juri:-dictions may request a method other than a unifo~-:~ percentage increase to implement the equalization .; :;iustment if they choose. SUBSCRIB[ TODAY! Send $18 check or ::~,oney order for a one year sv cription to PO Box 325, Nor~, ,~Jk, tA 50211 City State Bank o Appreciation Tailgate The staff of City State Bank, 801 Main St., will host a Customer Apprecia- tion Tailgate Friday, Sept. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the bank parking lot. Customers are invited to enjoy food, prizes, face painting and fun before going to the Norwalk Warrier home football game. Early Deadline There will be an early deadline for the Thursda~ Sept. 8, N/Warren Town and County News due to the Labor Day holiday. The deadline will be noon Wednesday, Aug. 31. The paper will go to the printer Friday, Sept. 2. - The newspaper office will be closed Labor Day, Monda3~ Sept. 5. Regular hours will resume Tues- da]~ Sept. 6. Annual Tootsie Roll Drive This Weekend The annual Tootsie Roll Drive for those with intel- lectual disabilities will be held the weekend of Au- gust 26, 27 and 28 by mem- bers of St. John the Apostle Knights of Columbus in Norwalk. They will be at Casey's, Kum & Go, City State Bank, Fareway, Norwalk Hardware, Dol- lar General and Scott's Foods. All donations go to Warren County Mental Health Services. If you wish to donate to this worthy cause, contact Mike Kordick at 515-208- 1553 or stop at Norwalk Hardware and see Dom- onick Cimino. Drive Carefully Preparations Underway for Fall Musical Directors Kim Ward and John Harrison are busy making preliminary plans for the Norwalk High School musical. "Bye, Bye Birdie" will take place in the Norwalk Performing Arts Center November 11-13. They are looking for the following items to either donate or loan to the High School Choral Department: • 1950 (older style) stove and refrigerator- does not need to work or look great • twin size bed frame with mattress & box spring • old style of small sofa or stuffed chair • old style lamp and night stand • older dresser with or without mirror • 50's style kitchen table with 2-4 chairs • wooden barrels or wooden crates • portable bar with 3-4 stools As you are doing your summer cleaning and orga- nizing closets, the theater and choral departments are looking for any old prom dresses or unique clothing pieces such as uniforms, 50s era dresses/coats. Contact Kim Ward at 515-981-4201 #3191 or kward@norwalk. k12.ia.us if you have questions or have any of the items listed above. a FREE MOVIE FRIDAY NIGHT Norwalk Parks and Recreation will host a "Dive-ir~ movie" Friday, Aug. 2G at Norwalk Aquatic Center. It is free of charge. Featured at the family event will be the movie Flip- per. ThemOvie beg~as a round 8:30 p.m. (dusk) until 10:30 p,m. Concessions will be available during the movie. Public Meeting The Norwalk Community Schools will host a Public Informational Meeting Regarding Renewal Election for PPEL Maintenance Levy at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6, in the Norwalk Performing Arts Center (located at Eastview 8/9 School). Board of Directors will discuss how PPEL funds are utilized by the District and will answer questions about renewal. Incumbents Seek Election to Board Three incumbents are the only people who have filed seeking re-election to the Norwalk Community School District Board of Education. They are George Meinecke, Katherine Schraidt and Rick Kaul. Eligible voters will cast their ballots for school board members Tuesday, Sept. 13. Look for a sample ballot that will be published in this newspaper in the near fu- ture. USE OF STADIUM TRACK FOR WALKERS AND RUNNERS Tuesda~ Sept. 6, the Norwalk Stadium Track will open up for community runners and walkers. The sta- dium and track is a locked facility. Therefore, commu- nity members will need to contact Tom McLaughlin at 515-577-9181 in order to obtain access. The track will not be available during school or ac- tivities including practices. It also will not be available during scheduled events. People will be able to walk between 6-8 a.m. and 7 p.m.-until dark on weekdays. It could be available earlier at night if there are no prac- tices. On weekends the hours will be from 6 a.m. until dark. In order to secure access to the stadium, community members will need to obtain an access key. There is a one time fee of $25 for processing access. If you are interested contact Tom McLaughlin, Grounds Director, at tmclaughlin@norwalk.k12.ia.us or call 515-577-9181. NHS Warrior Stadium Open House Thursday, Sept. 1 7:30 8:30 p.m. The Norwalk Schools will host an opeIx house to cel- ebrate the completion of the new Warrior Stadium lo- cated on the west side of the High School campus (Cherry Street). All members of the community are in- vited to tour the stadium building, press boxes, turf field and track. Const~'uction for the new Warrior Stadium began in October of 2010. The Stadium offers the following en- hancements for outdoor student PE curriculum uses and athletic events: • The home bleachers will seat 3,000 fans • 8-Lane all-weather track with an electronic Lynx timing system • Systemic Turf FieJd that will provide 3 1/2 inches of rubber cushion to raake a safer playing sur- face and a durable surface !~at can be used daily for multiple purposes • The width of the fic,!d has been expanded to meet regulation soccer field dimensions • The Stadium buildi~G has two team rooms to accommodate boys and girls competitions and home team/visitor team events • The Stadium building has Home/Visitor con- cession stands and restrooms • A video scoreboard to display student stats, ~ack event times, as well as game scores. i?