Property taxes are complicated and confusing. A significant amount of confusion comes from the fact that your most recent tax bill was determined over a year ago. By the time you get your bill, it is too late to do anything.
Property tax statements are hitting mailboxes, and Iowans are frustrated. One of our members said, "Just because my house is worth more doesn’t mean I have more dollars to pay the taxes."
Remember, there is only one reason for larger property tax bills: increased government spending!
When looking at your tax statement, TURN IT OVER to see how much each taxing authority takes from you. The total you pay will be broken into percent change and total dollar change. Additionally, the total amount each local government receives in taxes will be listed.
Is what you pay a good value? Are you getting a good return?
If not, take action.
Don't just let your dog overhear you complaining. Let the people who set local government spending and determine your tax bill know your frustration.
To make contacting them easy, ITR did the work of looking up all their email addresses. Take a look at your community in our searchable online database. This website compares community growth to the property taxes levied by schools, cities, and counties and gives you a one-click button to email your local elected officials.
The first half of the property tax bill you just received is due by September 1 of this year, and the second half is due March 1, 2022. It's too late to do anything about the amount.
However, you have two opportunities to take action on future tax bills.
First, school districts and cities are usually the two largest taxing authorities on your statement. School board and city council elections are on November 2 this year. Ask the candidates tough questions about spending and show them the charts from itrlocal.org.
Second, all the local taxing authorities will start to create their budgets in December. This process determines how much they spend, which, in turn, makes the property tax rate and, ultimately, your tax bill. ITR will remind you at that time to again use itrlocal.org to let them know you are watching how much they spend.