Strengthening Property Tax Transparency

Direct notification will make local elected officials think twice before increasing property tax rates because they know all citizens will be notified of the increase and its potential impact on their properties.   This fall, local governments across Iowa will begin the process of creating their budgets. Local government, whether county, city, or school boards, depend heavily on property taxes […]

Economic Development Reform in Iowa

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have some sort of tax-increment financing program incentivizing companies to do things they otherwise would not do. The concept has merits, but the way it is applied in Iowa and elsewhere has problems. In fact, many local policymakers hate it, but they feel powerless to stop offering these giveaways.   In Iowa, the […]

Our Taxes Aren’t “Iowa Nice”

A businessman in Sioux City recently stated it very plainly to us:  “We have stores in seven states.  Iowa is more expensive for property taxes than any other.”   Iowans are, for the most part, hardworking, friendly, and willing to help a stranger in need. Many call this “Iowa nice.”  However, our state’s tax code has been ranked as one […]

Will Polk County Property Tax Relief be Wiped Out?

Property tax bills might increase from valuation growth more than the promised reduction from increasing the sales tax.   Many property owners in Polk County received a shock recently as they opened their new property tax assessments. Assessments in Polk County increased from 7.1 percent in Johnston to 11.6 percent in Des Moines. Numerous property owners saw a 10 percent […]

Is a Four Percent Raise Enough?

Would a four percent increase in income next year help your household budget? For most families it would. Four percent isn’t enough for the city of North Liberty according to their city administrator and they want to increase the property tax rate another 1.2 percent. In recent years the city’s taxable valuation growth has increased between seven and 14 percent […]

Iowa’s Tax Burden

How does Iowa compare with the other 49 states and Washington, D.C.? The individual income tax rate, corporate income tax rate, sales tax rate all as of January 1, 2019, and property taxes paid as a percentage of owner-occupied housing value for CY 2016 are ranked from 1 to 51 with 1 being the lowest and 51 the highest. Individual […]