It’s property tax time in Iowa. The first half of taxes is due by Sept. 30.

  Computing property taxes is always complicated. There are so many variables. For example:

  --Belmond and Rowan residents pay the same county taxes as folks in Dows and Clarion. But Belmond and Rowan residents pay NIACC property taxes, while Dows and Clarion people pay ICCC property taxes.

  --­­Clarion and Eagle Grove residents pay the same county taxes and the same ICCC taxes. But people in the two towns pay different city taxes and different school taxes.

  Using Belmond as an example, all the various taxing bodies added together will spend 11.35% more in the coming year. The city will spend 3.28% more. The county will spend 2% more on general activities, but a whopping 168% more on debt service. NIACC will spend 34.4% more (new bond issue passed). The county assessor and the mental health budgets will both fall.

  Adding to the complexity is the fact that property values can go up and down in each town. This year, the average assessed value of a house in Belmond grew 3.28%, while the value in Rowan fell 3.5%. Plus, the state can change what it calls “the rollback” value every year. And “the rollback” for a house isn’t the same as a business!

  What does this all mean? One Belmond home had its value rise $2,600, but the tax bill fall $14 (about 0.5%). The value one downtown building rose $2,400, and the tax bill rose $38 (about 5.0%).

  Overall in Belmond, the average property owner will see their taxes go up 0.9%. Some will rise more, others will fall a bit.

  Confusing, isn’t it?

  If you want an explanation of your own taxes, you can call the county assessor at the courthouse in Clarion. In this week's issue of the Belmond Independent, there's a chart that shows spending and taxes for each public entity in Wright County.