Next September’s property tax bills will shock many central Iowa residents and businesses. A closer look at tax statements will show that even though the property tax rate may not have changed, the tax bill may be considerably higher. The reason for the discrepancy illustrates a flaw in the way Iowa’s property tax system works.
This week, a Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa article stated, “When there’s huge growth in taxable valuation, even with constant rates, property tax owners will experience a large increase in their taxes and local governments will reap a windfall in revenue. All the while, some local officials will take credit for holding the rate constant.”
While this excellent article addresses Central Iowa communities specifically, the same dynamic is playing out all over the state. To protect property owners, ITR has long supported a realistic limit on the percentage increase in the total dollar amount of property taxes on any property in any year. While we will continue that advocacy, sometimes the best way to reign in property tax bills is simply asking your local elected officials why are they taking and spending so much of your money?