- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials are cutting $4 million in traffic camera funding from the city’s budget, under the assumption the state won’t allow placement of two cameras along Interstate 29.

Only about $100,000 from the city’s red-light cameras is in the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget released Tuesday, the Sioux City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1j7xZBF ).

“If that money were in the budget, we wouldn’t have this shortfall,” said Interim City Manager Bob Padmore. “We will be bringing back options to reduce the deficit.”

The city may need to raise property taxes, increase fees, make funding cuts or implement layoffs to cover the loss. They can use a combination of all four options.

The Iowa Transportation Commission recently approved new rules that give transportation officials control over speed and red-light cameras on state-supervised highways and interstates. It followed ongoing debate over whether the cameras are for safety or to generate revenue for cash-strapped municipalities. The regulations still need to go through a public hearing.

Mayor Bob Scott said a proposed tax hike in the budget - a $17.44 per $1,000 assessed property tax levy rate - is a worst-case scenario, and that officials will try to come up with other options. The current rate is $16.25.

“It may or may not be the case,” he said. “It fuels a fire we don’t need to fuel right now.”

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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