Property Taxes are paid twice a year in September and March to local county treasurers.   

County treasurers collect property taxes and distribute property tax funds to local authorities. Property taxes support cities, counties, school districts, and townships among other local authorities. Iowa property tax is generally a tax on land, buildings, structures, and other improvements built on, or attached to, the land or placed on a foundation. Property owners receive a property tax statement in August each year from the county treasurer for property they own. Taxes are due twice a year. The first installment is due in September. The taxes must be paid by September 30 to avoid penalty.  The second installment is due in March of the following year. The taxes must be paid by March 31.  If the taxes are not paid timely, the taxes incur a penalty. 

You can pay online, in person, or by mail.  Find your County Treasurer and pay online here: ​ (

  • Have a Mortgage? 

If you have a mortgage on your home, it is often set up to include property tax payments. In this case, the mortgage company is responsible for paying the property taxes on your behalf. 

  • March Reminders 

If you pay online, you can register to receive an email notice to remind you to make the March payment. Otherwise, it is your responsibility to remember to pay the second installment. Pay online here: ​ ( 

  • How are my taxes calculated?

Property taxes are not determined by a single individual. Taxes are based on a series of variables that take 18 months from start to finish.  The first step is for the city or county assessor to determine the valuation and classification of  your property.  They also establish the value and classification of  all the property assessing jurisdiction in which  you own property. Second, budgets are established to provide funding for the local authority for the services by jurisdictions (cities, school districts, counties, etc.) such as roads, sewer, water, police and fire, as well as education. 

There are also calculations by your  county auditor and laws administered by the Iowa Department of Revenue that are part of determining the final tax rates for each authority. This series of events takes 18 months from start to finish.   Find more detail on property tax calculations here: Iowa Property Tax Overview | Iowa Department of Revenue

  • What If I don’t pay?

If the taxes are not paid by April 1, the property is listed as part of the county’s annual tax sale each year in June. This is a process where other people pay the delinquent property taxes and a lien goes on the property. Property owners can remove the lien by paying the past due taxes and any related interest. 

After paying up to three years of delinquent taxes on a property, the tax sale party can take possession of the property in lieu of taxes paid.  Contact your county treasurer for specific details. Find your county treasurer here: ​ ( 

Related Agency - Iowa Department of Revenue


Hoover Building, 1305 E. Walnut St., Des Moines, IA  50319

General Phone: (515) 281-3114