The Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa produces a number of annual reports that provide comparisons among Central Iowa’s cities, schools and other taxing entities.  

The source data for nearly all of these reports is the State of Iowa Department of Management’s Local Budget Division.  All local governments must file their budget annually with the State.  These budgets are used as a consistent source of information for the comparative analyses.  All source data may be found at State of Iowa Department of Management website.

Property Tax Comparisons
This report compares tax rates among cities, school districts and other local governments in central Iowa.  The report also shows a comparison with the prior year.   It is a very rough indicator of local government efficiency when coupled with a personal assessment of the level of services provided and/or educational outcomes.  It is also a good way to monitor changes in tax rates from year to year.

2017-18 Tax Rate Comparisons

2016-17 Tax Rate Comparisons

2015-16 Tax Rate Comparisons

2014-15 Tax Rate Comparisons

2013 Tax Rate Comparisons

Collective Bargaining Reports
This report provides details of research showing that, over the past six years, collective bargaining settlements in Iowa school districts have been greater than revenue growth more than three-quarters of the time.

School Budget Growth v Settlements Report

Wages and Benefits Comparisons 2016

Spending Comparisons
These reports, one for schools and one for cities in which Association members are active, provide a series of charts and graphs on spending.  They are useful to compare one’s own city or school district with others in the metro area and may suggest areas for inquiry when large differences are apparent.

Fiscal Year 2015 City Budget Comparisons

Fiscal Year 2014 City Budget Comparisons

School District Comparisons

2012 Outsourcing Study
In 2012 the Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa surveyed local governments and schools to inventory those services that are currently outsourced.  A summary of these findings may be found here.

2011 Compensation and Benefits Study
In 2011 the Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa surveyed local governments to get a glimpse of compensation and benefit structures.  A summary of these findings may be found here.

Ten-Year Growth Comparisons
Growth in property taxes has significantly outpaced inflation over the past ten years, even when adjusted for population growth.  These charts show per capita or per student ten-year growth compared with inflation for area cities and school districts.

Ten Year Growth Comparisons

Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget Analyses
A detailed analysis of individual local government budgets may be found in these reports.

City of Ankeny
Ankeny Community Schools

City of Des Moines
Des Moines Community Schools

Polk County

City of Urbandale
Urbandale Community Schools

City of West Des Moines
West Des Moines Community Schools