A graphic promoting the new urban revitalization plan.

If your commercial property is located in one of the qualifying areas, you may be eligible for a tax exemption.

The City of Iowa City announces a new Highway Commercial Urban Revitalization Plan, which can allow a property tax exemption on the new value created by improvements to existing or new buildings, for 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 this property tax exemption, the Iowa City City Council must first 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 15 percent. A 100 percent exemption will be given on the taxes created by the new value for three years. The Highway Commercial Urban Revitalization Plan will be in effect for 10 years from the date of adoption.

The areas designated in this Plan are generally older commercial areas along Highway 6 and Highway 1 and feature local small businesses that have had limited access to many economic development incentives in the past. These areas generally do not attract the kinds of projects that would be appropriate for tax increment financing.

The 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 proposed improvements and eligibility should be directed to the City Assessor at  319-356-6066.

How to apply

Those eligible, should apply using our online form.

Questions? To learn more about the Plan, visit icgov.org/HighwayCommercialURP or contact Wendy Ford, Economic Development Coordinator at 319-356-5248 or email wendy-ford@iowa-city.org.

Date of publication

Friday, April 23, 2021