Keokuk, IA – The property tax rate could be on the rise in Keokuk next year. The city council has approved the city's preliminary budget for next year. The proposed spending plan includes a 40 cent increase in the city's property tax rate. Finance Committee Chair, Doug Matlick, says the rising cost of city government led to the rate hike. Matlick says the preliminary budget does not cut any services or require any layoffs. He says several vacancies created by retirement will not be filled. The wages for some city workers have not been finalized in the spending plan as union contract negotiations continue. Several departments, including police and fire, saw a reduction in their orginal budget requests. The council will hold a public hearing and possibly adopt the final budget during its first meeting in March.