Why does your property tax bill grow?

There is only one reason for property tax increases – local government spending.

Find out how local government spending has impacted YOUR property tax bill by clicking on “City”, “County”, or “School District” at the top of this page.

* Only cities with a population greater than 1,000 or are a county seat are included on this website.


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When local elected officials choose to spend more and raise property taxes, they need to clearly explain why government needs the money more than the people they represent.

The information provided on ITR Local is intended to help start a conversation with the people who determine how much you pay in property taxes: your local school board, city council, and county supervisors.

Iowans expect quality public services at a reasonable cost. 

However, property taxes in Iowa are growing faster than they should. Use the information on this site to learn more about your community, share with your neighbors, and start a conversation with your city council, county supervisors, and school board.

What is reasonable? A reasonable property tax growth rate is one that is close to the combined percent change of inflation and population.

The chart below shows the total property taxes collected by local governments across Iowa have grown much faster than the state’s population and inflation.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Iowa Legislative Services Agency. Calculations by ITR Local.


Public Hearing Information

It’s no secret that Iowans are frustrated with property taxes. Every year, we find ourselves paying more and more just to live in our own homes. The problem isn’t assessments, complicated rollback formulas, or what’s happening in the state legislature. The real issue with property taxes is how local governments…

The True Cost of Property Taxes

Many city, county, and school governments seem to disregard Iowans’ struggle to achieve when their only focus is more taxpayer money to spend on their special projects. According to a recent WalletHub article, Iowa has one of the highest property tax burdens in the country. The 1.49 percent of their…

Property Tax Increases Take Center Stage on March 5th Special Election Ballots

Some local governments say if you vote to renew a levy, taxes won’t go up. But it’s like finishing paying for a car and then buying another with the same monthly payment. This hides the option of saving money instead! The March 5, 2024, special election in 13 school districts…

What Is a Revenue Purpose Statement?

Simply put, if the voters of your district do not approve of a Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS), your property taxes will be lower. If they approve an RPS, your school district can spend more money and keep taxes higher. All school districts receive the corresponding funds from the state regardless…

County Tax Relief Is Not Deprivation

Counties are cashing in on hefty property taxes from high assessments, and reducing rates won’t halt financial gains. You might hear your county officials complaining they are facing dire straits this year because of the new property tax law. The truth is that too many counties have been cashing in…

© 2023 Iowans for Tax Relief and ITR Foundation