Paying for City Government

"I’m buying less for myself so I can pay the government more."

Can you relate to this statement from one of our members? Every year property tax bills seem to increase more than Iowans think they should.

Property taxes growing faster than household budgets:

  • Force people on fixed incomes out of their homes
  • Make it harder for young families to afford their first home
  • Consume more and more income from renters and homeowners alike
  • Allow government bureaucrats to steal choices from taxpayers on how and where to spend their money

Each city faces different challenges.

When a community is growing, it needs to pay for new infrastructure. Residents might also want, and be willing to pay for, new parks, trails, and flood control. However, many communities are not growing or have other priorities. In both situations, local government taking more money from people through property taxes should be in line with population growth and inflation over a period of time.

ITR collected city budget information from the Iowa Department of Management from the earliest fiscal year available, 2013, and U.S. Census Bureau population data from the most recent year available, 2019.

Below are the population and property tax growth charts for the ten largest cities in Iowa.  If you would like us to look up this information for your city, just send an email to

Cities are only one of three large consumers of property taxes. In the next few weeks, we will collect and post information for school districts, usually the largest part of your property tax bill, and county government as well.

What's the best solution to control property taxes?

If you haven't taken our short property tax survey yet, click the button below:

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