Iowa City City Council adopts 2022 budget

The budget brings lower property taxes and a boost in city employees’ minimum wage.


Caleb McCullough, Managing Editor

The Iowa City City Council adopted its budget for the 2022 fiscal year on Tuesday, including a $1 million contribution to affordable housing and an increase of city employees’ minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The total expenditures from the budget are calculated at $173 million, and the fiscal year begins July 1, 2021.

The property tax levy will go down from $15.77 per $1,000 of taxable value in 2021 to $15.67 in 2022. Despite the tax rate decreasing, the total property tax revenue will increase because of an expansion in the tax base.

As The Daily Iowan previously reported, the tax revenue increase will in part go to funding an increase in a minimum wage for city employees. Starting July 1, the city minimum wage will be $15 an hour.

City employees currently make a minimum of $13.25, and the city has been increasing that for three years from $11.50.

“We’ve capped our three-year progress to getting a minimum wage to hourly employees to $15,” Assistant City Manager Ashley Monroe said during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The budget includes $1 million from the general fund to the city’s affordable housing initiatives for the third year. According to a January presentation from City Manager Geoff Fruin, 70 percent of the funds will go into the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County. The rest will be broken up among various sources:

  • 7.5 percent to an opportunity fund
  • 7.5 percent to the city’s Health Homes project
  • 10 percent for security deposit assistance
  • 5 percent for unforeseen circumstances

The budget also includes a 2 percent increase to the city police department’s budget. As the DI previously reported, most of the increases are because of previously negotiated salary increases and mandated pension payments.

The police budget also originally included a full-time street outreach specialist for engaging with the homeless population, but the $35,000 for that position was moved in the adopted budget from police to human services.

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