A new business property tax credit created by the Iowa legislature could reduce the tax liability for commercial property owners, if their property meets the qualifications as outlined in Chapter 426C of the Iowa Code. To receive the new property tax credit to which they are entitled, commercial property owners must file an application with the County Assessor’s office. The deadline for filing for the 2013 assessment year, which includes the property taxes payable in September 2014 and March 2015, is January 15, 2014. Applications received after that date will be considered for the 2014 assessment year, which includes property taxes payable in September 2015 and March 2016.

                Last Spring, Governor Branstad signed into law a number of changes made to Iowa’s property tax system, with most of the changes affecting commercial and industrial properties. In addition to the Business Property Tax Credit, the rollbacks for commercial, industrial and railroad properties will be reduced from 100% to 95% for the 2013 assessment, then to 90% for the 2014 assessment. Other changes include the establishment of a new multi-residential classification, the reduction of allowable growth  between agricultural and residential from 4% to 3% and the establishment of a partial exemption for telecommunications companies. The new law also made changes to the Property Assessment Appeal Board and the appeal process.

                The Business Property Tax Credit is a credit against taxes based on valuation for commercial, industrial and railroad classed properties. The credit will be shown as a deduction on the property taxes owed on the property owner’s tax statement for September 2014, but only if an application for the credit has been placed on file by the January 15, 2014 deadline. The legislature has appropriated $50 million for the Business Property Tax Credit Fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014 and $100 million for the following year.

                In October, the Black Hawk County Assessor’s office sent notification to commercial property owners in the county, explaining the tax credit application process. For additional information about the Business Property Tax Credit as it applies to Black Hawk County, contact the County Assessor’s office at 833-3006 or logon to www.co.black-hawk.ia.us and select “Assessor” under the “Departments” menu.