Representative Chris Hall of Sioux City came to together fellow Sioux City leaders to look at the issues Sioux City is facing in 2012.

From FOX 44 in Sioux City

City and State Leaders Chat Before New Year

By Olivia Wilmsen – email

City workers also made it clear to the state they want to keep financial programs like Tax increment financing or TIF. The city said it relies on those taxes to fund projects to build roads and businesses.

(SIOUX CITY, IA) Budgets, spending, and finding more money for both are the big three issues Sioux City and state leaders face in the coming year. Both groups came together Tuesday to create a game plan for 2012.

Hawkeye state Senators and Representatives and city workers met for the City Hall Legislative Day. Those leaders chatted about five different subjects: Sustainability, economic development, public safety, infrastructure and quality of life. They focused on keeping Sioux City growing and finding ways to pay for projects to improve the city.

“It’s an important partnership. I think it’s unique to Sioux City and to Iowa,” said City Manager, Paul Eckert.

The city is asking Iowa legislators to amend the Chapter 20 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Leaders want to get rid of a part of the agreement stating Iowa cities can levee taxes for public employees.

“The cities are raising taxes every year to provide wage and benefit increases. And that’s not fair to the general public that doesn’t get the same deal,” said Keith Radig, a City Councilman.

Another concern is finding the funds to improve Iowa’s roads.

“I think discussion about the road use tax is something that we probably need to continue to talk about because I live out in rural Woodbury County. I drive Highway 59 down to Des Moines. I see that infrastructure crumbling,” said Bill Anderson, Republican Iowa Senator from District 27.

Iowa legislators and city workers agreed property tax is a big issue in Sioux City and across the state.

“I also will be filing some bills that would help out residential homeowners on their property taxes. I think people who are on a fixed income, be it retirees or otherwise, just have had a hard time keeping up with property tax increases,” said Chris Hall, Democrat Iowa Representative from District Two.