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 1,700 or are a county seat are included above.

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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.

November 2023 Local Bond Election Results

Iowa counties, cities, and schools put forward bond questions for the election yesterday across 50 counties, covering 75% of the state’s population and totaling a potential $1.72 billion in new spending. The decision facing taxpayers was whether or not they wanted to saddle themselves with new debt and higher property tax bills...

School Districts Seek $1.2 Billion Amid Declining Enrollment

At a time when the economic environment is forcing families to budget for gasoline and groceries while property taxes keep climbing, school districts would do well to focus on projects directly related to the education of children. On November 7, 2023, 34 school districts will ask voters to approve bond...

November 7 Election Bond Questions Exceed $1.7 Billion

75 percent of Iowans will see a bond question on their November 7th ballot. The November 7, 2023, election ballots in 50 Iowa counties will have bond questions that total $1.72 billion in potential new spending statewide. A majority of the state’s people, 75%, live in counties with bond referenda...

Limiting Spending Is the Solution to Iowa’s Property Tax Problem

Conservative budgeting has been a pillar of the state’s fiscal policy in recent years, and Iowans would benefit from all of their local governments taking a similar approach. The team at Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation has been talking to Iowans all across the state lately. One topic that has...

Local Governments Have No Reason to Increase Rates

With exceptional valuation growth over the years, it is time to force local governments to cut back and live within their means. Property taxes are, without a doubt, the most hated tax in Iowa. Rightfully so, as the bill goes up year after year and the services Iowans receive do...

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