State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Middle-Class Families
Tool | November 2020

Iowa State Tax Guide for Middle-Class Families

State tax rates and rules for income, sales, gas, property, cigarette, and other taxes that impact middle-class families.


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The Bottom Line
Flag of Iowa

Least Tax-Friendly

Which do you think is higher in Iowa: the corn or taxes? It might be taxes, thanks to staggering income and property taxes in the state. One reason why income taxes are on the high end in the state is because over 200 school districts and Appanoose County add their own income taxes on top of the state-level tax. Property taxes in the Hawkeye State are high as well.

Income Tax Range

Low: 0.33% (on up to $1,666 of taxable income)

High: 8.53% (on taxable income over $74,970).

Iowa also has local income surtaxes used for schools and emergency services.

Sales Tax

6% state levy. Localities can add as much as 1%, and the average combined rate is 6.94%, according to the Tax Foundation.

Groceries: Exempt
Clothing: Taxable
Motor Vehicles: Exempt from ordinary sales tax, but subject to 5% one-time registration fee
Prescription Drugs: Exempt

Real Property Taxes

In Iowa, the median property tax rate is $1,529 per $100,000 of assessed home value.

Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: 30¢ per gallon.
Diesel: 32.5¢ per gallon.

Sin Taxes

Cigarettes and little cigars: $1.36 per pack
Snuff: $1.19 per ounce
Other tobacco products: 50% of the wholesale price, not to exceed $0.50 per cigar

Beer: $0.19 per gallon
Wine: $1.75 per gallon
Liquor: $13.03 per gallon
Liquor tax is an estimate by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and published by the Tax Foundation.

Annual Car Taxes and Fees

An annual vehicle registration fee based on the car's weight and age is imposed.

Estate and Inheritance Taxes

Iowa's inheritance tax ranges from 5% to 15%, depending on the amount of the inheritance and the relationship of the recipient to the decedent. However, no tax is due on property left to a surviving spouse, stepchildren, lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) or lineal ascendants (parents, grandparents, etc.). In addition, no tax is due if the estate's net value is less than $25,000. Brothers, sisters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law owe 5% to 10% in tax, depending on the value of the property they inherit. Uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and all other people inheriting property are taxed at rates ranging from 10% to 15%.