Exemptions & Credits
Iowa offers a variety of total and partial exemptions and credits to the property tax. It is the property owner’s (or renter’s) responsibility to apply for these.
- Agricultural land
- Art galleries
- Barn and one-room schoolhouse
- Business Property Tax Credit
- Cattle facility
- Data center
- Disabled veterans homestead
- Educational institutions
- Family farm credit
- Forest cover
- Forest / Fruit tree reservations
- Governments: State, cities, counties, townships
- Historic property rehabilitation
- Homestead credit
- Impoundment structures
- Industrial partial (427B)
- Industrial machinery and equipment and computers first assessed in Iowa for 1995 and thereafter
- Libraries / literary societies
- Low-income tax credit for elderly, disabled
- Low-income rent reimbursement for elderly, disabled
- Low-rent housing
- Methane gas conversion
- Military exemption
- Mobile home reduced rate for low income
- Native prairies
- Open prairies
- Personal property
- Pollution control and recycling
- Public grounds
- Recreational lakes
- Religious, charitable, benevolent associations
- Rivers and streams
- River and stream banks
- Special assessments for elderly, disabled, low income
- Speculative shell buildings
- Urban revitalization
- War veterans associations
- Web search portal
- Wildlife habitats
- Wind energy conversion
The Homestead Credit is available to residential property owners. The credit is an actual reduction in the amount of property tax owed; it is not a refund.
To qualify for the credit, the property owner must be a resident of Iowa and actually live on the property on July 1 and for at least six months of every year. The only exceptions are persons in the military and nursing homes who otherwise qualify.
Sign up for the credit is at the assessor’s office by July 1 of the year the credit is first claimed. Once a person qualifies, the credit continues until the property is sold or until the owner no longer qualifies.
Military veterans who served on active duty and were honorably discharged or members of reserve forces or the Iowa National Guard who served at least 20 years qualify for this exemption. The veteran must apply with the local assessor. Once accepted, the exemption is ongoing.
Ag Land Credit
The Agricultural Land Tax Credit was originally established in 1939 to help offset higher farm taxes. The credit is available to all owners of agricultural land of 10 acres or more if the use is for agricultural or horticultural purposes. Land owners do not actually file a claim. The county auditor determines the amount of the credit for each taxpayer.
Family Farm Credit
Legislation was enacted in 1990 to provide $10 million for the Family Farm Tax Credit. The purpose was to give an additional property tax credit to those individual land owners who were actively engaged in farming the land. One application is required unless the ownership or a designated person changes.
Land used for agricultural or horticultural purposes in tracts of 10 contiguous acres or more qualify for this credit. Buildings and other structures do not. The application may be filed any time; however, a claim signed after November 1 is considered a claim filed for the following year.