Lake City, Iowa
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Housing & Property

Residential & Commercial Tax Abatement

Residential and commercial real estate improvements may qualify for tax abatement. To qualify for tax abatement, the eligible improvement must increase the actual value by at least 15%. Applications are available at City Hall and must be filed with the City for each exemption claimed. The property owner must apply to the City for an exemption by February 1st of the assessment year the exemption is first claimed, but not later than the year all improvements are first assessed for taxation.

All applications are reviewed by City Council, and, if approved, are forwarded to the County Assessor’s office for review. The County Assessor will first make a physical review of the property, then determine the increase in the actual valuation due to the improvements, and finally, will notify the property owner of the results.

Residentially Assessed Property Exemption Schedule:
Year 1 100% of Tax Value of first $75,000 of Value Added by Improvement
Year 2 100% of Tax Value of first $75,000 of Value Added by Improvement
Year 3 100% of Tax Value of first $75,000 of Value Added by Improvement
Year 4 100% of Tax Value of first $75,000 of Value Added by Improvement
Year 5 100% of Tax Value of first $75,000 of Value Added by Improvement
Year 6 Full Tax Value of Improvement are Collected

Commercially Assessed Property Exemption Schedule:
Year 1 75% of Tax Value Abated
Year 2 60% of Tax Value Abated
Year 3 45% of Tax Value Abated
Year 4 30% of Tax Value Abated
Year 5 15% of Tax Value Abated
Year 6 Full Tax Value of Improvement are Collected


Zoning Laws

Building permits are required in order to verify compliance with the City’s zoning ordinance. Prior to construction, such as improvements listed below, please contact city hall for information on city regulations and required permits.

New Construction of houses, garages, sheds, commercial buildings (including modular, mobile homes, or moving a home or commercial building to a lot.)

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  • New accessory structures (Sheds, detached garages, swim pools, etc., including moving a shed or garage on to a lot)

  • Any structural addition to an existing house or building

  • Exterior signage.


The City of Lake City would like to make you aware of a few city ordinances that often result in complaints upon violation. The complete City Code is available at City Hall and the Library for reference.

  • Burn Permits. Permits are required for yard waste open burning (seasonally only) and recreational fires. 


  • Grass Clippings. Prohibits grass clippings from being deposited in the street. The reason for this regulation is because the grass will plug the storm sewers.

  • Leash Law. Prohibits animals, including cats and dogs, from running at large within the city limits.

  • Mowing. Requires the mowing of property within the City. Properties not mowed in accordance with the ordinance shall be mowed by the City or their agents, and billed to the property owner as established in the ordinance.

  • Property cleanup. Please keep your property free of junk, junk vehicles. The City has junk, nuisance, and dangerous building ordinances to aid in maintaining a clean community.

  • Snow on Sidewalks. If a property owner does not remove snow, ice or accumulations within a reasonable time, the city may do so and assess the costs against the property owner.

  • Snow Ordinance. When snow is of sufficient depth for plowing, the ordinance shall be placed in effect. The parking ban shall continue for approximately 24-hours after the snow has stopped falling and blowing to allow for plowing of the streets. It is recommended that when snow is forecast overnight, or conditions indicate potential snow, vehicles be moved to off-street, private parking. Violation of this ordinance may result in the issuance of a parking ticket.

  • Snowmobiles. Not allowed on city streets except for designated streets which serve as a snowmobile route solely for the purpose of the leaving or entering the city. Please ask at City Hall for the routes. Snowmobiles shall not be operated in any park, playground or any other publicly owned property without permission of the city. They are not to run on any sidewalk or the portion of the street commonly known as the parking nor are they allowed on private property without the consent of the property owner.

  • Solid Waste Removal. Requires removal and disposal of animal feces from public property or the property of another person, such as during walks.

  • Tree Planting. Be sure to check with the City for rules before planting trees in the parking (area between lot line and curb line.

  • Tree Trimming. Requires property owners to keep tree branches trimmed at least 15’ above the street and 8’ above the sidewalks.

Specialty Services

  • Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center in Fort Dodge: (515) 955-2273

  • Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center in Carroll: (712) 792-6722

  • YWCA (Eliminating Racism ~ Empowering Women): (515) 573-3931

  • New Opportunities Family Development: (712) 792-9266

  • Murphy Management Family Housing in Lake City: (515) 295-2927

  • AnswerLine - Questions relating to home and family: (800) 262-3804

  • Bets Off - Iowa Gambling Treatment Program: (800) BETSOFF

  • Healthy Families - Prenatal, child health, and women's health care questions and info: (800) 369-2229

  • Iowa Concern - Financial questions, legal issues, family transitions: (800) 447-1985

  • Teen Line - Personal and health related information and referral: (800) 443-8336

  • Beginning Farmer Center - Resources to help the next generation of farmers: (877) 232-1999