Jefferson County

Credits and Exemptions

Iowa law provides for a number of credits and exemptions. It is the property owner's responsibility to apply for these as provided by law. It is also the property owner's responsibility to report to the Assessor when they are no longer eligible for any credit or exemption they have applied for. Following is a list of several credits and exemptions available in Iowa.

Homestead Tax Credit

To qualify for the credit, the property owner must:

  1. be a resident of the State of Iowa for income tax purposes
  2. be the current owner of the property and that evidence of that ownership is recorded in the Jefferson County Recorder's Office
  3. currently occupy the property as your primary residence
  4. have no other Homestead Tax Credit on any other property in the State of Iowa

New applications for homestead tax credit are to be filed with the Assessor on or before July 1 of the year the credit is first claimed. Once a person qualifies, the credit continues until the property is sold or until the owner no longer qualifies. This credit is equal to the tax on the first $4,850 of actual value for each homestead. (Refer Iowa Code, Chapter 425)

Homestead Tax Credit

Military Service Tax Exemption

Iowa residents who meet one of the following service requirements are eligible for the exemption:

  1. you are the current owner of the property and that evidence of that ownership is recorded in the Jefferson County Recorder's Office
  2. you have no other Military Tax Exemption on any other property in the State of Iowa
  3. you served in the military, for other than training purposes, during a qualifying period as described below
    1. WWI (April 6, 1917 - Nov. 11, 1918)
    2. WWII (Dec. 7, 1941 - Dec. 31, 1946)
    3. Korea (June 25, 1950 - Jan. 31, 1955)
    4. Vietnam (Feb. 28, 1961 - May 7, 1975)
    5. Grenada/Lebanon (Aug. 24, 1982 - July 31, 1984)
    6. Panama (Dec. 20, 1989 - Jan. 31, 1990)
    7. Persian Gulf (Aug. 2, 1990 - still open)
  4. Former member of the U.S. Armed Forces who performed at least 18 months of service, regardless of time period, and who were honorably discharged
  5. Current & former U.S. Reserves & Iowa National Guard Forces who served 20 years & were honorably discharged or retired under title X of the U.S. Code.

Application must be made with the Assessor on or before July 1 of the year the exemption is first claimed. The military certificate of satisfactory service, order transferring to inactive status, reserve, retirement, order of separation from service or honorable discharge must be recorded in the office of the county recorder. The exemption from taxable value is $2,778 for WWI veterans and $1,852 for all other service periods. If the qualified veteran does not claim the exemption the spouse, unmarried widow(er), minor child or widowed parent may be eligible to claim the exemption. (Refer to Iowa Code Chapter 426A)

Military Exemption Form

Disabled Veteran's Homestead Credit

Iowa residents who are an owner of a homestead property, and meet one of the following eligibility criteria are eligible for this credit which is equal to 100% of the actual tax levy.

1a. A veteran of any of the military forces of the United States, who acquired the homestead under 38 U.S.C. §21.801, 21.802, or 38 U.S.C. §2101, 2102.

1b. A veteran as defined in Section 35.1 with a permanent service-connected disability rating of 100%, or a permanent and total disability rating based on individual unemployability that is compensated at the 100% disability rate.

1c. A former member of the National Guard of any state who otherwise meets the service requirements of Iowa Code section 35.1, subsection 2, paragraph "b", subsection (2) or (7), with a permanent service-connected disability rating of 100%, or a permanent and total disability rating based on individual unemployability that is compensated at the 100% disability rate.

1d. An individual who is a surviving spouse or a child who is receiving dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) pursuant to 38 U.S.C. §1301 et seg.

To get this credit, the applicant needs to file an application with the Assessor on or before July 1 of the year the credit is first claimed, along with a DD214 and a current Benefits Paid letter issued within 12 months of the application date. Once the application is approved, reapplication for successive years is not required as long as the property is owned by someone who falls under one of the four categories of 'owner' listed in Iowa Code section 425.15, and used as a homestead by that person on July 1 of each of those successive years.

A surviving spouse of a veteran receiving the disabled veteran homestead tax credit also continues to receive the credit, as long as the spouse lives in the homestead and does not remarry.

Written notification must be provided to the assessor if the circumstances change which would result in a taxpayer being ineligible for the credit, or conveyance of this property, or its discontinued use as your homestead.

The Veteran who qualifies for the Disabled Veteran Homestead Tax Credit may not claim a military service tax exemption on any property located in Iowa.

Disabled Veteran's Homestead Tax Credit Form

Business Property Tax Credit

The Business Property Tax Credit (BPTC) is a credit against taxes based on valuation, for commercial, industrial, and railroad property. The deadline for applying in the local assessor's office is July 1st. Property owners may claim and receive one credit for each eligible parcel unless the parcel is a part of a property unit for which a credit is claimed. A property unit is defined in the law as "contiguous parcels all of which are located within the same county, with the same property tax classification, are owned by the same person, and operated by that person for a common use and purpose." Eligible parcels, or property units, must be classified and taxed as commercial, industrial, or railroad property.

The law excluded properties which was reclassified to the new multi-residential classification in 2015. These property types include: mobile home parks, manufactured home communities, land-leased communities, assisted living facilities (as defined in section 441.21, subsection 13, enacted in this law), and any property primarily used or intended for human habitation containing three or more separate dwelling units. Therefore, apartment buildings, dwellings converted to 3 or more apartments, and Section 42 Housing are excluded. Also excluded, are residential and agricultural properties that may have home businesses or are rental properties.

Business Property Tax Credit Form

Family Farm Credit

This is a tax credit on agricultural tracts of land 10 acres or more that are farmed by the owner or designated family members (this includes spouse, parent, grandparent, great grandparent, child, grandchild, great grandchild, stepchild, brother, sister uncle, aunt, niece, nephew.) Applications are filed in the Assessor's Office.

Family Farm One-Time Filing

If a claim for the family farm credit is filed by November 1, and approved, further filing is not required provided the claimant owns the property on July 1 of subsequent years and the designated person actively engaged in farming the property remains the same. A claim filed after November 1 shall be considered as a claim filed for the following year.

If the ownership changes, the new owner must re-file for the credit and if the "designated person" changes, the owner must re-file for the credit.

Contact the Assessor's office for more information on the complexities of this law. (Refer to Iowa Code Chapter 425A)

Family Farm Credit Form

Other Credits and Exemptions

Following is a list of several other credits/exemptions administered by the Assessor's office. Filing is required on them as provided by Iowa law. Clicking on the exemption name for more information.

Exemption File By Filing Requirement Code Section
Barn & One-Room School February 1 One Time 427.1(31)
Exempt Property - Religious, Literary, Charitable* February 1 One Time 427.1(14)
Forest or Fruit Tree Reservation February 1 One Time 427C.3
Historic Property February 1 One Time 427.16
Impoundment Structure February 1 Annual 427.1(20)
Industrial Property Tax February 1 One Time 427B.4
Low Rent Housing February 1 One Time 427.1(14)
Methane Gas Conversion Property February 1 One Time 427.1(29)
Mobile Home Park Shelter February 1 One Time 427.1(30)
Natural Conservation or Wildlife Areas February 1 Annual 427.1(22)
Native Prairie or Wetlands February 1 Annual 427.1(23)
Pollution Control and Recycling February 1 One Time 427.1(19)
Speculative Shell Building February 1 One Time 427.1(27)
Urban Revitalization February 1 One Time 404.4
Wildlife Habitat February 1 One Time 427.1(24)