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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 20, 2018

Facts and questions about property taxes

Jan 19, 2018

The Iowa State County Treasurer’s Association has prepared a list of questions and answers to help Iowans understand how to pay their property taxes.


Can I make a partial payment on my property taxes?

Yes, partial payments are accepted for current or delinquent real estate or mobile home taxes. The amount of the partial payment must be greater than the late interest and costs due. Partial payments cannot be accepted for special assessments or tax sale redemption payments. You may make partial payments online or by mailing it to your County Treasurer.


How do I add or change a mailing address for my tax statement?

Contact your local County Treasurer.


I am going to be moving my mobile home to another location; do I need a tax clearance form?

Yes, a mobile home tax clearance form is required when moving your mobile home to another location. Please contact your County Treasurers for more information.


I just purchased this property and I am now being told that I am responsible for the full years taxes. How can this be?

In a typical real estate transaction, taxes are prorated and the buyer is given credit for the seller’s portion. You should look at your settlement statement provided to you at the closing to confirm this or contact the realtor or attorney who handled the transaction for you.


I mailed my payment on the due date and now I am getting a balance due statement for delinquent taxes. Why?

Your payment must be postmarked by the due date in order to be processed as a timely payment. If you are receiving a balance due statement, then your payment was not postmarked on time and late interest has accrued.

Placing your payment in the mailbox on the due date does not guarantee the envelope will be postmarked on that day. The Treasurer’s Office accepts only the official U.S. Postal mark when processing payments.


I thought my mortgage company paid my taxes?

Original tax statements are sent to the titleholder of record. If your mortgage company is responsible for paying your property taxes, they will obtain your payment amount through whatever resources they have available. You may retain the tax statement mailed to you for your records.


Is there help available for elderly or disabled property owners?

If you are totally disabled or 65 years of age or older and your total household income is less than the amount set by the State of Iowa, you may qualify for tax relief under the provisions of Iowa Code Section 425.16. Applications are available from January through May each year at your County Treasurer’s Office.

What happens if my taxes are not paid by the due date?

On the first day of each month, late interest at the rate of 1.5 percent (rounded to the nearest dollar, with a $1.00 minimum per parcel) will be added to the unpaid balance of your property taxes. If your taxes remain unpaid, they could be subject to tax sale. If sold at tax sale and if the tax lien is not redeemed within the time specified by Iowa law, the tax sale certificate holder may initiate foreclosure proceedings.


What should I do if I receive a tax statement on a home I recently sold?

Forward the tax statement to the new owners,

OR return the tax statement to your county treasurer,

OR notify your County Treasurer.

If needed, contact your realtor or the person/company that handled your closing for clarification.


What should I do if my delinquent taxes are sold at tax sale?

Please contact your County Treasurer to determine what your rights concerning redemption are and the amount necessary to redeem the tax sale certificate. Under Iowa law you may redeem the tax sale certificate by making payment to the County Treasurer for the amount sold, interest of 2 percent per month and the tax sale certificate & redemption fees of $20 each.

There may be additional fees associated with the cost of serving notice. If the current tax due is not paid within one month and fourteen days of the delinquency date, the tax sale certificate holder may pay the subsequent tax. You must have an interest in the parcel sufficient to give you the right to redeem the tax sale certificate. A sufficient interest means that you must be one of the following:

• The titleholder of record.

• The person in whose name the parcel was/is taxed.

• A person in possession of the parcel.

• A mortgagee with a lien on the parcel.

• A vendor of the parcel under a recorded contract of sale.

• A lessor with a recorded lease or memorandum of recorded lease.

• Any other person with an interest of record (examples: judgment creditor of record, vendee under recorded real estate contract, holder of an inherited or devised recorded interest, tax sale certificate holder).

• A person who acquired an interest in or possession of the parcel subsequent to the filing of the notice of expiration of the right of redemption (this category is applicable only to tax sales occurring on or after April 24, 1995.)

Your County may require an “Application & Affidavit for Redemption of Parcel Sold For Taxes” form be properly completed, signed, notarized and returned with your payment. See below. Please contact your County Treasurer to see if this form is required.


Have you been personally served or received a Notice to Redeem From Tax Sale stating that you have ninety days to redeem the parcel from tax sale?

Please contact your County Treasurer to obtain the amount to redeem your property from tax sale. If redemption is not completed within the period provided by law, the right to redeem expires and a tax sale deed may be issued to the purchaser of the tax sale.


When are my taxes due?

Your tax statement will provide you with two payment stubs, one for the first half and one for the second half. You may choose to pay the full year at once or pay each half by the due date.

The first half of property tax is due by Sept. 1 of each year. Late interest will accrue starting October 1st, unless the last day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then taxes become delinquent the second business day of October.

The second half of property tax is due by March 1 of each year. Late interest will accrue starting April 1st unless the last day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then taxes become delinquent the second business day of April.


When do I receive a property tax statement?

Statements are mailed out to the titleholder of record each year after taxes are certified to the County Treasurer by the County Auditor’s Office typically in July or August. Contact your County Treasurer if you have not received a property tax statement.


Why do I have to pay penalty and interest when I never received a statement?

As a property owner and under Iowa law, it is your responsibility to pay your property taxes. The statements are mailed and the taxes are due at the same time each year.

If you have not received a statement by the first week of September, contact your County Treasurer to request another statement be mailed to you.

It is not necessary to have a statement to make payment as long as you indicate the parcel number with your payment and know the correct amount. You may pay online, by mail, or personally deliver your payment to your County Treasurer’s office.


Why were special assessment statements mailed to me?

The special assessment statement will inform you of the type of special assessment for which you are being billed.

Examples of special assessments which are turned over to the county treasurer by the city are paving, sidewalk repairs and delinquent water and/or sewer bills. Special assessments generally are due once a year with the first half property tax installment.

All rates or charges for the services of sewer systems, sewage treatment, solid waste collection, water, disposal, recycling, storm water drainage systems, city utility or enterprise charges or any of these, if not paid to the city as provided by ordinance of city council or resolution of the trustees, are a lien on the property served by the services upon certification to the county treasurer. The lien has equal precedence with ordinary taxes, may be certified to the county treasurer and collected in the same manner as taxes, and is not divested by a judicial sale.


Do I have to file an income tax return if I receive income from Iowa property but live out of state?

If you received income from an Iowa property that you own and if you are a nonresident of Iowa, you may have an Iowa income tax filing requirement, even though you don’t live in Iowa.


Examples of income subject to Iowa income tax:

• Rental income from Iowa property

• Capital gain from the sale of Iowa property

Go to www.iowa.gov/tax website for more information.

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