County FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Real Estate

What is a Levy Authority?
What is a Legal Description?
What is an Administrative Real Estate Description?
What is a Property Class?
Does the Local Assessor set the value for all Real Estate Property?
Do Railroads and Utility Companies pay Real Estate Taxes
Where do my taxes go?
What is Taxable Value
What does it mean that 100% Actual Value is "Equalized"?
How does the Iowa Department of Revenue know when a local assessor's 100% Actual Values are not sufficiently accurate?
Is "Local Assessor" the same as County Assessor?
What is an "Ag Dwelling", and why do I get a separate tax bill for it?
What offices at the county are involved in the assessment and taxation of real estate?
How can I change the address where my tax bill is mailed?
How can I see a plat map or an aerial photo of my property?
What are the real estate responsibilities of the county auditor?

Tax Credits and Exemptions

What is a Homestead Credit?
What is a Homestead Exemption?
How is the Homestead Credit calculated?
What is a Real Estate Military Exemption?
How is the Military Exemption calculated?
How do I apply or find out if I qualify for the Homestead Credit or Military Exemption?

Understanding a SSMID District

What is a SSMID District?
How does a SSMID District work?
Can the property owners within a proposed SSMID District oppose its establishment?
How does the SSMID tax levy affect other taxpayers and Levy Authorities?
How much is the SSMID tax levy rate?
Is the tax levy rate the same for all properties within the SSMID District?
How is a SSMID District amended or dissolved?
What happens when a SSMID District overlaps a TIF Area?
Who decides on construction of improvements in the SSMID District?

Understanding TIF Areas & TIF Taxing Districts

What is a TIF Area?
What is the difference between a TIF Area and a TIF Tax District?
How is a TIF Area created?
How do taxes in a TIF Area work?
What happens to the “base” taxes and the “increment” taxes?
Who is the “TIF Authority”?
How much of my taxes go to the city (or county) for debt for the TIF Area?
Do all of the taxes on the increment value go to pay TIF debt?
Are my taxes higher because my property is in a TIF Area?
What qualifies to be paid from taxes on the increment value?

Understanding Rollback Rates

What is the Rollback Rate?
How is Taxable Value calculated?
What is a Tax District?
How is Taxable Value calculated?