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Does property-tax reform affect you?

Iowa Department of Revenue's Julie Roisen explains business property tax credit

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 10:43 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 12:35 p.m. CDT

Property-tax reform is coming to Iowa, and one of the main components of the reform is the business property tax credit.

“For your purposes, it’s a credit. It’s a rollback. It’s a local payment for that rollback,” said Julie Roisen, property-tax division administrator with Iowa Department of Revenue during a commercial property tax reform luncheon Nov. 21 at Lakeside Casino’s ballroom. “It is (a) reduction in taxable value growth for certain classes — ag(ricultural) and res(idential). It is an exemption for telecom, and it’s a new classification at a very high level.”

The event was hosted by Clarke County Development Corporation.

The credit

According to Iowa Department of Revenue, the business property-tax credit is part of the overall 2013 property-tax reform bill that was enacted by the Iowa Legislature and signed by Gov. Terry Branstad. The credit is applied toward property taxes due on the 2013 property assessment and payable fall 2014 and spring 2015.

Union County Assessor Gene Haner said the rollback will be at 95 percent of the assessed value. It will have the potential to change each year.

The credit is available for certain commercial, industrial and railroad properties. The credit is applicable to individual parcels, as well as “property units.” One credit is available for each qualified parcel or property unit.

According to the department of revenue, a property unit is a new concept specific to the credit. The law defines a property unit as contiguous parcels of the same classification that are owned by the same person, located in the same county and operated by that person for a common use and purpose.

For example, Creston Publishing Company is composed of four property units — three contiguous and one divided by an alley. Creston Publishing Company would have two parcels to submit applications for the property-tax reform.

To apply

If people are eligible for the credit, they should contact their county or city assessor for instructions on how to obtain and complete an application form. Across the state, each county assessor may be handling the application process differently.

“It takes about a minute,” Haner said. “We have all the applications printed out.”

Anyone eligible fore the credit in Union County is encouraged to stop in to the Union County Courthouse and complete the application.

More information can be found on the website www.iowa-assessors.org.

Roisen said if people want to have the tax credit applied to the 2013 property-tax assessment, applications must be received by their assessor no later than Jan. 15.

Applications received after that date will be applied to the 2014 property-tax assessment.

Roisen said, once an application has been approved, there doesn’t need to be a reapplication in later years, unless something changes with the unit.

Remember the date

However, she wanted to again remind people of the Jan. 15 deadline date for the 2013 property-tax assessment.

“Not postmarked. Not in the mail. In the office,” Roisen said. “... It would be my impression that the reason for this is the first year there is a tremendous volume of applications that have to get through the door and get processed, and lots of background things have to happen.”

What is not eligible

According to Iowa Department of Revenue, the following types of property are not eligible for the business property-tax credit:

• Agricultural property

• Residential property

• Property that is rented or leased under Section 42 (low income) housing

• Hotels, motels, and inns where rooms are rented for more than 30 days at a time

• Mobile-home parks

• Manufactured-home communities

• Land-leased communities

• Assisted-living facilities

• Nursing homes

• Property that is primarily used or intended for human habitation that contains three or more separate dwelling units. This includes apartment buildings and dwellings converted to three or more apartments currently classified as commercial property.


CNA staff reporter Jake Waddingham contributed to this article.

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