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Contact Your Elected Officials Now About Property Taxes PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Letters to the Editor
Written by Diane Holst   
Monday, 31 October 2011 10:38

Last week, the Iowa Department of Revenue issued an Assessment Limitations Order, or “rollback,” on property values in Iowa. The order adjusts the property values used by local governments to compute property taxes for agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial property. The taxable value for residential property will be 50.7518 percent of the assessed value. This is an increase from the 2010 level of 48.5299 percent.

This will result in an increase to your residental property tax next September 1 if your assessment stays the same or increases if the levy rates for the various taxing authorities (city, county, schools, community college, etc.) are not lowered.

This increase to your taxable value will net the cities and the county millions of additional tax dollars. What they do with this money is being determined at this moment while they plan their budgets for Fiscal Year 2012-13 and set the levy rates. Let your voices by heard by your elected officials. Ask them if they will be lowering the levy rates based on the fact that residential taxes will be going up due to the change in the rollback.

Don’t make your calls or send your letters next year when your tax bill arrives – it’s too late. The assessor merely determines the value of all of the property in the city/county. The budgets determine the levy rate you will be taxed at, and that process is going on right now. Contact your elected officials. They are the only people that have the power to raise or lower your taxes based on the budgets they approve.

Diane Holst
Eldridge, Iowa

Comments (2)Add Comment
Contact your elected officials now about property taxes
written by Kris Rock, October 31, 2011
Who do we contact? Isn't this a Scott County issue as opposed to a city (I live in Bettendorf) issue? To whom do I voice my discontent?
written by Diane Holst, November 01, 2011
It applies to all residential property in Iowa and not just the unincorporated areas of the County. You have an assessed value and then your taxable value is determined by the rollback percent dictated by the State. That percent is going up. The taxing authorities then levy you at a rate they determine each year based on what their budget will be. Your taxing authorities are listed in the bottom third of your residential property tax bill. If you live in Bettendorf, one of your taxing authorities is the City of Bettendorf, so you would call your city council members. However, you should be contacting each of your taxing authority; school district, community college, scott emergency communication board, etc. Each has a budget and will be calculating their levy rate based on the extra dollars that will be coming in as a result of the increase in the taxable amount.

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