Changes to the Iowa Code impacting property taxes for previously centrally assessed communications companies carry some implications for commercial property and sales taxes for those companies.

Beginning January 1, 2022, county assessors will start their process of assessing the land and buildings of communications providers previously centrally assessed. Land and buildings are now commercially assessed just like any other business, while fiber and electronics are exempted as personal property. The timeline of events is as follows:

  • April 1, 2022 – Notice of assessments will be issued to property owners by county assessors
  • April 25, 2022 – Informal appeals by property owners must be communicated and completed if the property owners wish to dispute the assessed value of the land and buildings
  • April 30, 2022 – Formal appeals by property owners must be filed with the county Board of Review

Companies should thoroughly review their assessments this first year of commercial assessment given the significant change that is occurring. The county assessor will estimate the market value of each property, and future year assessments will follow market value trends unless something significant were to change to the property. Providing information to the county assessor in the informal window or even before could be very helpful in keeping your assessed value as low as possible. Please contact BKD if you need assistance with this process.

A second step that should be taken is filing an Iowa Business Property Tax Credit application (54-024) with the county assessor where the commercial property is located. The credit will provide a small discount to the property’s assessed value. The application is due by July 1, 2022. Please note that many companies had originally filed this application prior to July 1, 2021. The Iowa Department of Revenue has asked that those should be refiled with the county due to some administrative reasons. 

There are other changes specific to sales tax exemptions for computer and peripheral equipment—read more here. For questions or assistance with this application process, reach out to your advisor or submit the Contact Us form below.

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