Main Street Update, Winter 2014


MSW Publishes Two New Reports

Fall 2013 has been busy for MSW Volunteers. Throughout this past summer, volunteers from the Economic Restructuring Committee surveyed Businesses and Citizens to better understand the market of Downtown Washington. The results have created a Market Analysis focusing specifically on the Square as super-square market in relation to the rest of Washington and surrounding communities. As part of the research, surveys were given to consumers in both online and intercept forms as well as businesses, answers were tabulated, and some interesting results were found. Both Businesses and Consumers agreed that incentives for the creation of new businesses was the Highest Priority item for downtown. Businesses felt that additional festivals and events was the second highest priority while consumers felt it was the restoration and preservation of Downtown's character. Continued development of the street-scape to off square streets was also 3rd place for Businesses and 4th place for Consumers. Both groups agreed that improvement/creation of downtown housing was the Lowest priority. For the Full Report please <click here>

MSW also released our Annual Report for FY 2013 at the beginning of January. Inside it highlights our Mission, Core Values, and Vision as well as Committee Achievements, and a Financial Statement. We're proud to be a part of the Downtown and wanted to share our achievements. Click here to read our Annual Report!

Continued from Iowa Business Property Tax Credit...

Unlike the State's rollback on residential property, this new program provides a property tax credit on a portion of the property value. SF 295 also provides a small rollback in the taxable valuation of commercial and industrial property, with a 5% reduction off 2012 values in FY2014 and a 10% reduction in 2015.

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While this is exciting, business and industry property owners must complete a short application form and return it to the County Assessor's office by Saturday March 15, 2014 to be eligible for the Property Tax Credit for taxes payable in Fiscal Year 2016. You won't have to reapply in the future (just like the Homestead Tax Credit), except as a result of a property sale.

The Legislature appropriated $50 million for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, $100 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, and $125 million for the 2016-2017 fiscal year and thereafter. The fund is capped at $125 million dollars. The Legislative Services Agency has estimated that this year's credit amount will be approximately $523 per property unit.

The $50 million in state funds is to backfill lost property taxes to local governments to hold them harmless because of the property tax credit.

Essentially every "property unit" will receive the same tax credit. Walmart, Modine Manufacturing, and Wolf Floral will all receive the same tax credit of about an estimated $1385.

At the end of November, Washington County mailed out just over 1,000 letters and property tax credit applications with most of the info already filled in (like parcel numbers - who keeps track of that?) to owners of commercial and industrial parcels. If you own multiple business parcels and received multiple application forms, you'll need to determine if your parcels make up one or more "property units."

To help you with this, you can view or download a handy pdf presentation by Washington County Assessor, Christy Tinnes. Click the image below to view the presentation. You can also view extensive Q&As on the Iowa Dept. of Revenue's web site.

To recap:

Come check out Savor Washington this Saturday January 25th from 5-9 pm! See our great menu and musicians listed below! For more information check out or Join us on our MSW Facebook Event Page!

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