The semiannual installment of property and mobile home tax statements are being mailed this week and will be arriving in mailboxes soon. The deadline to pay the first half of property taxes without penalty this year is Oct. 2, 2023. A penalty of 1.5% will attach to late payments beginning Oct. 3, 2023. This deadline is a change from the Sept. 30 deadline in state code because Sept. 30 falls on a Saturday this year.
“This is the busiest time of year for the Treasurer’s Office, so we encourage residents to pay their property taxes online, by mail, or use our drop box so they can avoid waiting in line,” Linn County Treasurer Brent Oleson said.
Pay property taxes online at www.iowataxandtags.org. Payment options include VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express credit cards or eCheck. If paying by eCheck, the online fee is only 30 cents. Credit card payments have a non-refundable service delivery fee added to the tax amount due for the service of paying taxes online with a credit card. Residents will have the opportunity to exit the payment process without completing the transaction if they choose to do so and pay by an alternate method. The County Treasurer’s Office does not receive any portion of the transaction fee.
Pay by Mail
Mail property tax payments to the Linn County Treasurer, 935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. Payments postmarked by September 30, 2023, will be considered paid on time and no interest will be charged. The U.S. Postal Service postmark is the only date recognized for date of mailing. The date written on a check or a business metered date cannot be accepted as proof of the mailing date. To ensure proper credit, the stub portion of the tax statement must be submitted with the payment. Residents who would like a receipt must include a self-addressed stamped envelope with their payment.
Drop Box Payment
Property tax payments can be dropped off in the white drop box located outside the entrance to the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW in Cedar Rapids. Please do not place cash payments in the drop box outside. Cash payments may be deposited in the drop box inside the Public Service Center lobby during normal business hours. To ensure proper credit, the stub portion of the tax statement must be submitted with payment. Residents who would like a receipt must include a self-addressed stamped envelope with their payment.
Pay in Person
Property taxes can be paid in person at the Linn County Treasurer’s Office at the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW in Cedar Rapids, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Parking is available at the Public Service Center and on the street. (Due to staff development training, hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.)
Check the current average wait time in the Treasurer’s Office at LinnCountyIowa.gov/Treasurer.
Pay Over the Phone
Property taxes can be paid over the phone by calling the Linn County Treasurer’s Office at 319- 892-5500 Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Phone hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month. Phone payments can be made with eCheck or credit cards. Due to the high volume of calls, phone hold times could be lengthy.
Distribution of Property Taxes
County Treasurers collect property taxes on behalf of all jurisdictions in the county and then distribute the taxes collected. Approximately 16% of property taxes paid by Linn County property owners in incorporated areas are used to fund Linn County government operations and services. The remaining 84% of property taxes goes to the property taxpayer’s city of residence, school district, and other taxing bodies in the county. Linn County taxes represent slightly more than one-third of property taxes for rural residents.
Earlier this year, Linn County debuted a new online tool that provides increased transparency of the property tax collection and distribution process. The site includes interactive maps, a dashboard, and charts that show countywide property tax statistics, the tax bill cycle, property tax levy rates for all taxing jurisdictions in the county, where property tax dollars are going, and the last three years of an individual property’s tax bill.
By using this site, taxpayers can look up their property and see how their tax bill compares to other like properties in their area; compare their current property tax bill to the last three years; and see how their property taxes are distributed among the different taxing jurisdictions, such as their city of residence, school district, and county. When entering an address in the mapping tool, it will display a pie chart with the exact dollar amount and percentage of taxes going to each taxing jurisdiction. The property tax statements being mailed also include this detailed breakdown by percentage and actual dollar amount of how your individual property taxes are distributed among the various taxing jurisdictions.
Visit the interactive property tax lookup tool online.
Homestead Tax Exemptions
Property owners who applied for and received a new tax exemption for people age 65 and older or who receive a military exemption will see the new exemption amount reflected on the property taxes that are payable next year in the fall of 2024 and spring of 2025.
Business Property Tax Credit
The business property tax credit was eliminated for this tax billing due to a new state law. In the past, businesses could apply for a property tax credit through the Assessor’s Office. Under the new state law, all properties classified as commercial, industrial, or railroad will now receive the residential rollback on the first $150,000 of their business unit valuation automatically without the need to complete an application. Property owners who previously applied for and received a business tax credit will no longer see a tax credit on their tax bill; instead, they will now see a change in the taxable valuation of their property.
Assessed Value vs. Taxable Value
It’s important to remember that assessed value is not the same as taxable value. The assessed value is the actual market value of a property, according to sales in that market. Taxable value is the portion of a property’s assessed value that is subject to property tax. The taxable value is determined by the state’s assessment limitation (also called the rollback) that limits the taxable value of a property. This means that property taxes do not increase by the same percentage as assessments. In fact, as assessed values go up, the assessment limitation drops to limit the taxable value increase.
Iowa code requires residential property to be valued (assessed) at market value in odd-numbered years. As a reminder, the current tax statements are based on property assessments from January 2022. The most recent assessments completed this past spring will be reflected on the tax statements mailed in August 2024.
Email/Text Message Reminders
Property owners can sign up to receive an email or text message reminder to pay the fall and spring installments of property taxes. Property tax statements will still be mailed each fall. The email or text message will serve as a reminder that the payment is due.