Proposed Highway Commercial Urban Revitalization Plan

View the plan here.

Tax Abatement Area Maps

About the project

A proposed Highway Commercial Urban Revitalization Plan employs an economic development tool which allows a property tax exemption on the new value created by improvements to existing or new buildings on qualifying properties within the area. Neither the value of the land nor the original value of the building is eligible for tax exemption, and only improvements generating at least a 15% increase in building value are eligible.

To be considered eligible for property tax exemption, Council must approve the projects and all improvements must increase the actual value of the property (not including land value) as of the first year for which an exemption is received by at least fifteen percent (15%). A 100% exemption will be given on the taxes created by the new value for three (3) years. The Highway Commercial Urban Revitalization Plan would be in effect for ten (10) years from the date of adoption.

The areas designated in this Plan are generally older commercial areas along Highway 6 and Highway 1 with local, small businesses that have not had access to many economic development incentives in the past and generally do not attract the kinds of projects that would be appropriate for tax increment financing. The proposed Plan makes this incentive available to commercially-taxed properties only. In the case of a multi-residential property, where a portion is taxed commercial, only the commercial portion of the property would be eligible.

The City Assessor determines whether a project meets this criterion once improvements have been made. Questions regarding whether proposed improvements will meet this criterion should be directed to the City Assessor at  319-356-6066.

The City Council will hold a public hearing at its meeting at 7 p.m. on April 20, 2021 in Emma J. Harvat Hall, City Hall, Iowa City, or if said meeting is cancelled, at the next meeting of the City Council thereafter as posted by the City Clerk, to consider adoption of the Highway Commercial Urban Revitalization Plan. If City Hall remains closed to the public, the meeting will be an electronic meeting using the Zoom Meetings Platform. For information on how to participate in the electronic meeting, visit or contact the City Clerk at 319-356-5043.

After Council adoption, online applications for the Highway Commercial Tax Exemptions will be available on this website.