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Deadline nears for business property tax credit application

By Staff | Nov 29, 2013

Iowa businesses, industries and other commercial concerns have until Jan. 15 to apply for a 5 percent property tax credit for 2013.

The Iowa Legislature approved the credit effective with the current year under SF 295. Barb Bohm, Emmet County assessor, stressed that separate applications need to be made for each tax unit (i.e. contiguous property of the same tax classification). For example, if a business had three locations, a separate application would need to be made for each property.

The 2013 Iowa Acts Senate File 295 provides a business property tax credit for certain commercial, industrial and railroad properties. The credit does not apply to residential or agriculturally classified property. One credit is available for each qualified property unit. The actual amount of credit each property unit will receive depends in part upon the total value of all property units and the average consolidated rates in each unit. The credit calculation is designed to spend 98 percent of the amount appropriated by the Legislature to the Business Property Tax Credit Fund. For the first year of the credit $50 million was appropriated to the Fund. The Legislative Services Agency has estimated that the maximum first-year credit amount will be approximately $523.

Since Senate File 295 was signed into law, the Department has worked closely with local government officials to develop the tax credit process, starting with the taxpayer’s application all the way through the actual adjustments to taxpayers’ property tax statements. The Department has created a page on its website devoted exclusively to 2013 commercial property tax reform. On this web page taxpayers can access and print a copy of the Business Property Tax Credit Application Form and view answers to questions that have been asked (Q and As).

The Department is in the final stages of rule development, but cautions that rules cannot possibly address every scenario that might be encountered in administering the credit.

“We encourage people to visit our website and view the Q and As,” said Julie Roisen, the Department’s Property Tax Division administrator. “If their questions aren’t already answered there, they can submit them to us online. We will add the new Q and As to the body of information we are accumulating.” The Department updates the Q and As weekly.

For more information on the Business Property Tax Credit, including the application form, visit the Department’s website at www.iowa.gov/tax/locgov/13PTReform.html. Applications are also available at the Emmet County Assessor’s Office.

Bohm said applications were sent to all Emmet County commercial property owners; however, only about half have been received.