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Property Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans in Iowa

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
May 11, 2020

In this article, we’ll discuss Iowa’s Disabled Veterans Homestead Tax Credit and other tax exemptions available to disabled veterans in Iowa. We’ll cover eligibility for the program, the application process and discuss associated documentation.

Back in 2015 House File 166 was signed into law. The bill modified the existing homestead tax credit to include disabled veterans with a permanent disability rating. As of now, a disabled veteran in Iowa can receive up to full property tax exemption if it can be proven that his or her disability is due to military service. Iowa also allows veterans to receive a property tax exemption of just under $2000 on his or her primary residence as long as the veteran served on active duty during a war or served for at least 18 months during peacetime. 

The Application Process

An application must be filed with the city or county assessor by July 1st of the assessment year. The application does not need to be renewed each year, but for the veteran to remain eligible for tax exemption he or she must continue to be medically disabled and must be the owner of the property in question. The surviving spouse of a veteran may also qualify for certain property tax exemptions unless they remarry or change homesteads. An applicant who elects to receive the homestead tax credit will not be allowed to receive any other property tax exemptions or credits in the same tax year.

Documentation

For those who seek to qualify under the 100% disability rating, a benefits summary letter along with the application form is usually sufficient evidence for the homestead tax credit. They should also provide their DD214 document with their initial application. If the spouse of a deceased disabled veteran changes homesteads or they did not receive the tax credit during the eligible veteran’s life the surviving spouse can furnish a Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) or a Compensation and Pension Death (CPD) letter and possibly still be able to receive the tax credit. 

Property Related Limitations

Under the homestead tax exemption program, the property can be no larger than ½ acre within city limits and no larger than 40 acres if outside city limits. It applies only to the primary dwelling of the applicant and no other dwellings on the given piece of property. There is no specific limit to the value of the property, only the size as mentioned previously. The homestead credit does not apply to property on leased land. 

If you feel you or a loved one is eligible for a property tax exemption program in Iowa and you’re unsure of how to proceed, or you’ve been denied from a program and don’t understand why don’t hesitate to call our office and speak to one of our qualified attorneys. They can help guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

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