Financial expert: ‘Very healthy growth’ in Dyersville

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — When compared to other area communities, the City of Dyersville just wrapped up another solid fiscal year, according to the latest tax-increment-financing report.

During a recent Dyersville City Council meeting, Speer Financial Senior Vice President Maggie Burger presented her firm’s findings.

Dyersville’s property valuation jumped from $495,497,640 in fiscal year 2021-22 to $526,990,158, representing 6.4% in growth.

“That is a very healthy growth from what we’ve been seeing in other reports,” Burger said.

Based on the most current valuation, Dyersville has a statutory general obligation debt limit of $26,349,508. Currently, there is $12,500,000 of outstanding general obligation debt, $845,371 in outstanding rebate obligations and $1,025,894 of annual appropriated rebate obligations.

In the current fiscal year, the city is on track to pay back $1,460,000 in general obligation debt, leaving it with a remaining debt capacity of $14,604,975.

With the city’s built-in 20% contingency for emergencies, City Council members theoretically could issue another $9,335,073 in debt, which Burger also characterized as a “very healthy” amount.

“To have $9.3 million (in debt capacity) after the contingency is probably the highest that number has ever been,” Burger said. “You’ve spent some money to get some projects done, but you’re definitely gaining the new valuation off those projects.”

Dyersville also utilizes a lot of rebate agreements to spur economic growth, typically using TIF. These rebates are funded through the incremental value that new projects bring to the city’s tax base.

In Delaware County’s TIF district, commercial property value has grown to $23,731,783, up more than $2 million from last year. Industrial property was up to $34,672,769, from $33,473,087 last year, and residential was up to $25,410,500, from $22,602,994.

In Dubuque County, commercial value was $3,148,903, up from $3,145,246; industrial was $12,326,496, down from $12,545,522; and residential was $32,096,932, up from $30,787,692.

After presenting the council with all of this information, Mayor Jeff Jacque asked Burger if she thought the city was managing its tax dollars well. She said she does.

Burger said the city is doing very well and, thanks to the council and city staff being very careful about issuing debt and development agreements, is in a great position moving forward.

“In my opinion, rebate agreements are the safest way for you to enter into obligations and provide incentives for developers,” she said. “Because they have to perform, they have to build something and that something has to create new taxable valuation. They then have to pay the taxes on it, and then you give them a portion of those taxes back — that’s very important.”