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Important Voter Information From Reader

By Staff | Oct 15, 2013

To the Editor:

On November 5th you will be voting to approve a 2.5 million dollar bond issue to help fund a seven million dollar telecommunications network to be owned and operated by Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities. The system will be operated by an existing network located in Northwest Iowa called TCA. Part of the cost would fund the laying of 42 miles of fiber optic cable from Everly, Iowa to Emmetsburg.

Members of the EMU board provided our local Rotary with information dealing with the costs and benefits of this venture. The EMU representatives informed our group that the new system would be able to provide faster internet service with a lower monthly cost unless the current providers decided to lower their monthly charges and increase their internet speed.

How you vote on this question on November 5th is for you to decide. If 60% of the voters approve the bond issue your property taxes will increase. Regardless how you vote or if you decide to keep the provider you have now, your property taxes will increase for the next ten years to pay the bond principal and interest. How much your taxes will increase is not known at this time. The EMU representatives shared a bar graph which illustrated the potential tax increase based on taxable valuation of real property. The graph also showed the difference in future rates among several providers assuming the current providers did not decrease their rates.

The estimated increase in property taxes was between $1.55/1,000 up to $2.60/1,000 of taxable value. For example, if your property value for tax purposes is $50,000 your property tax increase would be somewhere between $77.50 to $130.00 per year for ten years. A $100,000 property would realize a tax increase somewhere between $155.00 and $260.00 per year.

As I stated before, how you vote on November 5th is entirely up to you. There has not been a lot of information concerning this important vote. I wanted to provide you with as much information as possible so your vote is based on facts. The ballot question does not mention cost savings or tax increases in the future.

Respectfully submitted,

(signed) Pete Hamilton

Emmetsburg, IA