Incentive program for FD housing advances

People who build new homes in Fort Dodge could avoid paying property taxes on them for up to seven years under an incentive program being crafted by city leaders.

Those who perform significant rehabilitation work on homes could also get tax breaks under a plan being developed to encourage the creation of new housing to meet the expected demand of those who will be moving to the city in the near future for jobs, especially in the industrial park known as Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation.

The City Council on Monday hammered out some details on the proposal, but did not take final action on it.

Council members agreed to establish a seven-year, 100 percent property tax exemption for new homes constructed in neighborhoods deemed to be blighted.

Councilmen Dean Hill, Robert ”Barney” Patterson, Mark Taylor and Don Wilson, who participated in the meeting by telephone, initially supported the seven-year proposal. Councilmen Kim Alstott, Dave Flattery and Andy Fritz supported a 10-year, 100 percent tax abatement.

Other components of the incentive plan include:

  • A five-year 100 percent tax abatement on the first $75,000 worth of value of a new home built anywhere in the city.
  • A three-year 100 percent property tax abatement on new multifamily housing units built anywhere in the city.
  • A five-year 100 percent property tax abatement or a 15-year abatement that gradually increases the amount of property tax owed on any new housing built on formerly abandoned property.

The abatements would pass from the builder to the buyer, meaning that whoever purchases and moves into a home would also enjoy the property tax break.

The council will hold its first formal vote on the new incentives during its April 8 meeting.