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City Council Scaling Back Property Tax Abatements for New Construction

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DES MOINES, Iowa – A citywide tax break to help the City of Des Moines grow is coming to an end.

On Monday night, the Council approved a measure to scale back the program.

“Instead of being five full years, it`s six partial years,” Council Member Chris Coleman said. “We think that`s good for the citizens of Des Moines, those homeowners will start kind of contributing to the common good.”

Under the plan, homeowners won't pay property taxes on new construction for the first three years. During the fourth year the abatement drops to 75 percent, then 50 percent in year five, and 25 percent during the final year.

Instead of citywide, the abatements would also be limited to certain areas.  Anyone building a home outside a targeted area would pay the full property tax amount.

However, not all members of the Council think the change is a good idea.

“I do have serious concerns and was really hopeful that we could get some type of a transition plan in place,” Council Member Chris Hensley said. “That is disappointing because, we have some great projects and I think that clearly there will be some project that drop out."

The new tax abatement program will run through 2020.