Property Tax Relief

Property Tax Relief priorityWith approximately 40% of property in Des Moines belonging to non-taxable entities, around 60% of property owners have been shouldering the cost of City improvements and services. With new Local Option revenue, City Council has been able to reduce the City of Des Moines’ property tax levy charged to that 60% without a reduction in planned projects or service level agreements.

By state law, 50 percent of the new sales tax revenue must go toward property tax relief. After receiving approval from voters, City Council voted on March 11, 2019 to reduce the City’s property tax levy rate to the lowest it had been in the seven years prior.

The passed budget included a $0.60 per $1,000 of taxable value reduction to the property tax rate, bringing the City’s total levy rate to $16.64. This rate was maintained in FY2021. Without the support of Local Option, this levy rate was anticipated to grow substantially without a reduction in planned improvements or City services.

FY2021 Local Option expenditures

Property Tax Relief — 50% State Mandate
Property Tax Relief $17,010,000 $17,240,905
Neighborhood Development Corp. (NDC)
and Neighborhood Finance Corp. (NFC)
$480,000 $480,000
Total Budget $17,490,000 $17,720,905

Property Tax Relief

Half of Local Option revenue was used to provide property tax relief in the form of maintaining a $0.60 levy rate reduction and provide for additional financial resources necessary to maintain acceptable levels of City services and neighborhood improvements.

Without the availability of Local Option, these services and improvements would have required an additional increase to the City’s tax levy rate by $1.50 per $1,000 of taxable value over the next four to five years.


Originally funded solely by the debt issuance fund, the Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC) and the Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) partner with local financial institutions to finance multi-family development projects to provide affordable housing, as well as provide low interest rate mortgages and loans to help Des Moines homeowners invest and improve our aging neighborhoods throughout the city. With Local Option revenue, these valuable resources will be partially funded by visitors and commuters.