COVID-impacted residents could get help with property taxes

County Supervisors approve joining Iowa Finance Authority assistance program


LEE COUNTY – A program currently in front of Iowa homeowners could help with residents behind on their property taxes.
The program, administered through the Iowa Finance Authority, uses America Rescue Plan Act funds to help those financially impacted by COVID to help meet home-related costs such as mortgage assistance, contract rent payments, or property taxes.
The funds are available through 2026 and are issued on a one-time basis.
Lee County Supervisors passed a resolution at Monday’s regular meeting to allow the county to accept the payments from the state on behalf of residents who apply for, and qualify for, the assistance.
Lee County Treasurer Becky Gaylord said she has run the program through County Attorney Ross Braden because the county must sign a contract with the state to accept the payments on behalf of the residents.
“He was okay with the changes they did. We just had a few questions back and forth about why we had to sign a four-page contract to accept a check. That sort of thing. Residents are still responsible for any taxes incurred before 2020 but otherwise everything looks okay,” Gaylord said.
Supervisor Chairman Garry Seyb said the program allows county residents to apply and, if they are accepted, their taxes from 2020 on can potentially be picked up by the program.
The IFA program pre-check and application can be found at:
• Applicant must own the property
• Applicant must be behind at least 30 days on payments for mortgage, contract sale, manufactured home, or property taxes
• Applicant household income does not exceed the greater of 150% of the area median income or 100%  of the U.S. median income
• Property is in Iowa and is the applicant’s primary residence
• Applicant experienced and/or can demonstrate a COVID-related financial hardship
• Applicant’s income must reflect the ability to resume future mortgage payments after IHAF assistance is received.
Gaylord said the pandemic-related financial hardship is the key to the application.
“From what I understand, it’s that you have to have lost your job because of a COVID event. So it’s government assistance to pay your taxes because of that. They take the application and do everything on their end. We just have to sign to be able to accept the check,” she said.
Supervisor Matt Pflug asked how long the program lasts and Supervisor Chuck Holmes said it runs through 2026. All of the ,America Rescue Plan Act funding, according to the federal statute that created it, must be expended by the end of 2026.
Supervisor Tom Schulz said it’s a program that the county has no control over other than to agree to the language that allows the county to accept payment on behalf of residents.
Seyb said the county wanted to get something done as soon as possible so residents knew the program was available.
Gaylord said the program shouldn’t take any additional time on the part of county staff after the contract is signed.
“Basically I just accept the check,” she said.
She said they only have had two people inquire about the program in the county so far.
Seyb said he hopes that media attention to the issue will help others realize that the program is in place.

Iowa Finance Authority, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Lee County, property taxes, assistance, program, Treasurer, Becky Gaylord,


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