City offers Urban Revitalization tax abatement

The deadline for Urban Revitalization tax abatement is fast approaching.

Each year, the city forgives property taxes on commercial and residential properties that make improvements that increase the value of the property by at least 10 percent. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1.

The city forgives property taxes on the improved amount for three years provided the landowner meets the criteria for abatement, said Shari Coughenour, Marshalltown city clerk. Owners must show that they plan to build a new structure or rehabilitate or add to an existing structure.

Coughenour said the Urban Revitalization program allows Marshalltown to stay competitive with its neighbors.

“It does encourage new development,” she said.

Bob Schubert, first-ward council member, was on the Marshalltown City Council in 1998 when the council passed the resolution creating the program. He said he doesn’t recall anyone on the council opposing it.

“It was a good idea at the time, and it still is,” he said. “It was a good idea for the people who maybe needed some help with their homes.”

The city must issue a building permit for residential improvements. General home maintenance and repair such as replacing windows or siding do not qualify for the Urban Revitalization program.

Craig Madill, county assessor, said adding a big-ticket item like a garage or bathroom typically increases the value of a home to meet the program’s specifications, but that a variety of smaller improvements could also do so. Most applications to the program meet the 10 percent improvement criteria.

New or substantially improved commercial properties within Zone 1, i.e., the downtown area, or Zone 2, industrial areas that include JBS, Alliant and the fairgrounds, are eligible for the commercial abatement, according to the Clerk’s Office.

The city charges a $50 fee for each level of a residential unit and each commercial abatement application. Applications can be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office, 24 N. Center St. For more information call 641-754-5701.