CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night approved the city’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget that starts this July 1st. The tax rate for the City of Clear Lake will increase from $9.65 per $1000 taxable valuation to $9.85.

The city’s finance director Jacob Widman says the  budget will spend about $25.9 million — $11.9 million towards operations and maintenance; $13.1 million towards capital; and about $900,000 to debt service. That’s compared to the current fiscal year budget of $23.4 million.  “A big chunk of that this year, 51%, is toward capital, having to do with the Surf District projects that bump that up. I think for Fiscal Year ‘24, we were at around 40%, so it bumped it up a good 10% or so. Some of the major projects, obviously the Surf District projects are the big ones, the Band Shell and Lakeview Room, and some other ones we have going on.”

Widman says even with the slight increase, the city will still have one of the lowest tax levies in the state.  “As a city tax rate for the 103 cities with the top population in Iowa, we’re the fourth lowest city tax rate. This is from last year, we’ll have the new year’s coming up here pretty quick, but going to $9.85, that would still maintain us as the fourth lowest in the state. Just the exceptional leadership we’ve had over the years here and being able to keep our rate low.”

No one spoke out during a public hearing prior to the council unanimously approving the budget.