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Facts & Figures - Iowa

Property taxes for the state of Iowa.

The Hawkeye State taxes property at 100% its fair market value, and most property (residential, commercial, and industrial) is taxed by numerous authorities such as the county, city, and school district. Agricultural real estate is taxed at 100% its productivity and net income capacity. Railroads and utilities are assessed at the state level.

Homeowners generally pay 47% of their property tax, farmers 16%, business and industry combined 34%, and utility companies (including railroads) 10%. All real property must be assessed every two years in an odd numbered year, with exception to railroads and public utilities which are assessed annually by the Iowa Department of Revenue. Taxpayers must pay property tax in two installments, the first by October 1 and the second by April 1.

A slightly more detailed breakdown would tell you that assessors send their reports, or “abstracts” (property’s assessed value), to the Iowa Department of Revenue. The abstract shows the total taxable values of all property according to classification of property (i.e. residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or utility), not by individual property. An “equalization” process is administered every two years to make sure that property values are similar among jurisdictions and according to law. After this step, budgets (instituted by each taxing authority) and tax rates (established by county auditors) are implemented, and then credits are deducted. Want to know even more? Click here.

Iowa offers several tax credits that like many states depend on various factors for eligibility. Homeowners whose household income is less than $19,503 and are 65 years of age or older, totally disabled, or are a widow(er) and born before 1934 may receive a tax credit. Residents who live in Iowa for at least six months per year and live in their primary place of residence are also eligible for a credit of the first $4,850 of the property’s actual value.

In 1990, an additional tax credit became available to individual land owners who actively farmed their land. This is called the Family Farm Tax Credit and applies only to farms under agricultural or horticultural production with a minimum of 10 contiguous acres of land. To learn more about this credit, such as narrower definitions, how to qualify, and other stipulations, click here.

Iowa Department of Revenue



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