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Council sells property, abates taxes

By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer | Jan 8, 2021

The Estherville City Council Monday evening approved the sale of city owned property at 220 West 1st Ave. South to Regina Robinson for $5,000. The city had acquired the property through an abatement. No one spoke at a public hearing on the sale.

In other business, the council approved applications for property tax exemptions on improvements to commercial and residential properties. The council approved 2 commercial applications and 11 residential applications. The commercial properties will receive a $100,000 property tax exemption for three years. The residential will receive an exemption of up to $75,000 for 5 years. The commercial exemptions were for IFA, Inc. and Farmers Union Industries, LLC.

Tax abatement programs reduce or eliminate the amount of property tax owners pay on new construction, rehabilitation, and/or major improvements. They won’t completely eliminate a taxpayer’s property tax bill–they still have to pay taxes on the value of the property before it was improved.

During the public forum portion of the meeting, city administrator Penny Clayton said the council may have a second work session on the animal ordinance to make time to discuss just the ordinance without the press of other city business and debate the factors involved in creating a new ordinance.