TAX RATES: Highest & Lowest Metro Communities

Every year, cities calculate how much money home and business owners will pay in property taxes.  a comparison of ten metro communities shows some are paying a lot more than others.

Dave Larson and his wife left their home of more than three decades to move closer to their two grandkids.

“Just wanted to be more involved with them,” says Larson.

The couple decided to buy a home in Altoona.  Being near family wasn’t the community’s only selling point.  Altoona has the lowest property taxes in the metro.

“We’re pretty happy about that,” he says.

The city of Johnston isn’t far behind Altoona.

“It compares very well to other communities across the metro area.  In 2014, we ranked 4th from the bottom,” says Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld.

“When residents and even businesses look at locating in a community,  one of the things they look at are the property taxes,” says Dierenfeld.

Cities set the rate based on the General Levy for services like police and fire, then add the Debt Service Levy for new projects to get the total dollar amount.

“The closer you are to the bottom, the lower your property taxes are and of course, the lower your property taxes are, the happier your residents and businesses are,” says Dierenfeld.

Here are the 2013-2014 tax rates for ten metro communities:

  • Altoona- $9.14
  • Urbandale- $9.57
  • Clive- $9.98
  • Johnston- $11.15
  • Ankeny- $12.02
  • West Des Moines- $12.02
  • Grimes- $12.91
  • Waukee- $13.50
  • Windsor Heights- $13.89
  • Des Moines- $16.92

1 Comment

  • Jerry and Sandy Tuinstra

    How does this reflect the school districts and other entities that make up the tax rate for a home? Is this rate only the city figure or what? How does a house in Urbandale city/Urbandale school district compare to a home in Urbandale city/Waukee school district? The story is confusing.

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