Tax Abatement

Tax Abatement

What is Tax Abatement?
Tax Abatement is a temporary reduction in property taxes that are otherwise payable on the actual value added to a residential or commercial property due to a qualified improvement. Tax abatement is legally known as “Urban Revitalization” (Chapter 404 of the Iowa Code). Waterloo has adopted urban revitalization plans to permit tax abatement for qualified real estate improvements in designated areas.

CURA 2024The City of Waterloo has two tax abatement areas, each with their own set of qualified improvements. The Consolidated Urban Revitalization Area (CURA) includes properties located in the central areas of Waterloo. The City Limits Urban Revitalization Area (CLURA) includes the entire City of Waterloo, except the areas in the CURA. See the map to see which area your property is located within.

What projects are eligible for Tax Abatement?
In the CURA, qualified improvements are new construction, rehabilitation, and additions that meet the other requirements described below. Other general requirements to qualify for tax abatement within the CURA include:

  1. The improvement must increase the assessed value of residentially assessed property by 10% and commercially assessed property by 15%
  2. The improvement must conform with the City’s Zoning Ordinance, and all other applicable codes, rules, and regulations.
  3. A building permit is needed for most improvements that increase your value. Contact the Building Inspections Department at 319-291-4319 to find out if you need a permit.
  4. Commercial properties must have a development agreement with the City that includes a minimum assessment agreement.

CLURAIn the CLURA, qualified improvements are new construction residential dwellings and daycare centers, as well as improvements to homes for state-licensed in-home or commercial daycare centers. Other general requirements to qualify for tax abatement within the CLURA include:

  1. The improvement must conform with the City’s Zoning Ordinance, and all other applicable codes, rules, and regulations.
  2. A building permit is needed for most improvements that increase your value. Contact the Building Inspections Department at 319-291-4319 to find out if you need a permit.
  3. Daycare facilities may be required to have a development agreement with the City that includes a minimum assessment agreement. Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department for more information about requirements with daycare facilities.

What are the available tax abatement schedules?
The CURA and CLURA program both offer two tax abatement schedules. The property owner has a choice between a three year at 100% schedule and a 10-year graduated schedule. Property owner’s would not pay taxes on the improvements value for the first three years with the 3-year at 100% schedule. The 10 year graduated schedule gives the property owner the ability to have 80% of the taxes be abated the 1st year, 70% the 2nd year, 60% the 3rd year, 50% the 4th year, 40% the 5th and 6th year, 30% the 7th and 8th year, and 20% the 9th and 10th year.

Note: Residential properties receiving a tax abatement incentive will not receive tax abatement on school district taxes. Therefore, all residential properties will pay the school district portion of the property taxes effective July 1, 2024.

How do I apply for tax abatement?
The property owner can apply for tax abatement by filling out the application. The application shall be returned to the Planning and Zoning Department at Waterloo City Hall prior to the first working day of February following the year when the improvements are completed. Once the Planning and Zoning Department receives the application, it will go through City Council for approval. City Council approval does not guarantee the property will receive tax abatement. The Black Hawk County Assessor’s Office reviews and approves the criteria eligibility and final determination of tax abatement.

Click Here for a CLURA Application
     Click Here for a CURA Application

Please mail your applications to the Planning and Zoning Department at 715 Mulberry St, Waterloo, IA 50703 or email them to Lexi.Schneider@waterloo-ia.org.


View the Urban Revitalization Ordinance by Clicking here.

For more information, please contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 319-291-4366.           
  CLURA FAQ              CURA FAQ