Reader wants answers on county rate hikes


Dear Editor

Another county session and more money expected to come out of the residents' pockets...in a county with a
14%+ poverty rate (2021 census) and a median per capita income of approximately $28,000. that's nearly
5,000 households in a county of 32,840 (2022 census)! This doesn't even take into consideration the number
of households considered "low income" but not poverty level.

The county (and cities in) are seeing more and more industries closing, shrinking, or in a holding pattern
which is causing a loss of income for the county itself, but more importantly, for the residents of the county.
We are not seeing growth. Definitely not any growth at the level that is needed to sustain/improve things in
the county.

You can't get blood from a stone. IF people aren't getting the extra income to assuage the extra costs of
necessities, then they're going to pull it from discretionary spending, which then circles around to hit the businesses in their bottom line and we see more of those closing.

Which leads me to ask: why do we never hear about detailed discussions (or any discussions really)
regarding bringing industries to this county? If they are trying, what is the sticking point that industries choose
other locations? And what are the county and city officials willing to do to create a more inclusive and
attractive package? (Hint: It is NOT a multimillion dollar marina, the rodeo, or any other "tourism" trappings we
repeatedly hear about)

Lee County seems to keep repeating the same cycle of willful ignorance over and over. The good ole boys
club (and the women who support it) hasn't been getting the job done for quite a long time. So, when are
those who are in the power positions going to do something different?

Michelle Scott,
Fort Madison

Opinion, Letter to the Editor, Fort Madison, Lee County, budgets, levy, Pen City Current,


2 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • riverviewskater

    Michelle........Thank You for Your 2 cents worth.........I am 80, Live on SS............Two realators have told Me They cannot get more than $60k for My Home..........But new appraisal is 105K.......I cannot pay More............The appraisals are a scam........Another dishonest way to scam Our poor residents..........Paul Holterhaus

    Wednesday, May 3, 2023 Report this

  • Ebania

    Lee County property taxes (at least in Keokuk) are now higher than the highest taxes in the nation, which is New Jersey. There is a reason that Governor Reynolds made a law to try to control these county governments who do nothing but spend. These increased costs are due to 1. ambulances 2. and IT department (in most big businesses the IT is one person) 3. a Keokuk hospital without doctors, that will not be open 24 hours, has limited ability to do testing and no ability to do any treatments other than what the NP or PA on staff has the ability to do (urgent care level.)

    The women who erroneously appraise and assess all properties are a big part of the problem. The assessors and the appraisers in Lee county are 4 women who are unelected and have an incredible amount of control over the citizens' financial lives. It is a shame and not surprising why properties remain in a shambles. Incredibly short-sited thinking.

    No matter how hard Keokuk groups and officials work to clean up properties, it will never work because of the overpriced assessments that make the taxes outrageous. Keokuk could be an awesome tourist spot. But it is not. One thing other cities have that Keokuk does not have, is a county government that works with them, not against them.

    I bet that hospital that was given 2.2 million dollars will not be open for even 3 years before the company hired claims there is not enough income. But the millions will be gone. Thanks Lee County Supervisors and your little specious assessors and appraisers too!

    Wednesday, June 14, 2023 Report this