Incentives | Grants | Loans | Funding | TIF

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The City of Storm Lake Urban Revitalization Program is allowed by Iowa Code - Chapter 404. The city adopted the Storm Lake Urban Revitalization Plan  for the Storm Lake Urban Revitalization Area by action of the City Council on February 21, 2005.  The plan was adopted to promote the revitalization of properties in the area, by providing tax abatement on eligible improvements. The Urban Revitalization Plan was amended in 2014, 2018 and most recently in 2021 with the adoption of Amendment No.3.

The program is an incentive for redevelopment and new development within the City of Storm Lake. In order to receive the abatement, the property owner and development or redevelopment, whichever the case may be, must meet the qualifications of the program to receive the abatement.     Complete and Submit the Tax Abatement Application Form Here



All qualified real estate assessed as Residential Property is eligible to receive a one hundred percent (100%) exemption from taxation on the first seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) of actual value added by the improvements.  The exemption is for a period of five (5) years.  

All qualified real estate assessed as Residential Property under Iowa Code Section 441.21 (14) (a) (6) on or after January 1, 2022, having three (3) or more separate dwelling units, are eligible to receive a one hundred percent (100%) exemption from taxation on the actual value added by the improvements.  The exemption is for a period of ten (10) years.  *This exemption is available for this particular subset of residential property in lieu of the general residential property exemption set forth above, and is made available to further the City’s planning objectives with respect to ensuring the availability of a variety of housing options and promoting the development of multi-family residential properties. 


All qualified real estate assessed as commercial property is eligible to receive a fifty percent (50%) exemption from taxation on the actual value added by the improvements. The exemption is for a period of three (3) years.


All qualified real estate determined to be abandoned property pursuant to Iowa Code Section 404.3B (meeting the definition of "abandoned" in Iowa Code Section 657A.1) shall be eligible to receive a one hundred percent (100%) exemption from taxation on the actual value added by improvements.  The exemption is for a period of five (5) years. 


Buena Vista County Community Foundation

Did you miss the 2023 Winter Round of Grants?  Stay tuned to this page for information on an upcoming round of grants.  Buena Vista County Community Foundation does plan on having another round of applications in 2023!  For more information visit the foundations web page at    Funds from the grant program must benefit Buena Vista County residents and/or organizations.  Applicants must be a 501.C.3 organization or a governmental or educational organization such as a City, County, or Community School District or utilize a fiscal agent. In addition to its grantmaking side, the Buena Vista County Community Foundation is a great way for individuals and families to leave a legacy for future generations.  For more information, contact the Buena Vista County Community Foundation by email at

Community Development Block Grants

CDBG |Community Development Block Grant Programs

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) administers the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in all of Iowa’s incorporated cities and counties, except those designated as HUD entitlement areas. Authorized under the Housing and Community Development Act, the main goal of the program is to “develop viable communities by providing decent housing and suitable living environments and expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate incomes.” All projects must meet the National Objectives as defined by HUD.

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U.S. SBA | Grants

Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses. SBA provides limited small business grants and grants to states and eligible community organizations to promote entrepreneurship. 

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IOWA GRANTS | Opportunities 

Iowa's Funding Opportunity Search and Grant Management System.  The Iowa Grants website allows you to electronically apply for and manage grants received by the State of Iowa. 


IEDA Targeted Business Loan

IEDA| Targeted Small Business Loans

Assistance for Eligible Individuals Starting or Growing a Business. The Targeted Small Business (TSB) loans are available to businesses that are eligible for TSB certification - are 51% or more owned and actively managed by a female, an individual with minority status, a service-disabled veteran or an individual with disability. Loan eligibility is not dependent on TSB certification, however, it is strongly encouraged that once the entity is in business that they become a certified TSB.   

  • Loans up to $50,000 for TSB's looking to start or expand.
  • Funds can be used for business improvements and expenses, including but not limited to , the purchase of equipment, furnishings, inventory and specific operating expenses. 
  • Funds cannot be used for the purposes of purchasing or investing in real estate.
  • TSB certification is not required. 

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IEDA| Small Business Collateral Support Program 

Through the Small Business Collateral Support Program, the state of Iowa can provide Socially and Economically Disadvantaged (SEDI) owned businesses up to 40% of a collateral gap needed to secure a loan through a commercial lender for loans ranging in size of $75,000 to $250,000. This program is intended to help eligible small businesses that are 51% or more owned by women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and long-term rural residents and includes small businesses that enhance arts and culture in Iowa. 

Storm Lake United Logo

The Storm Lake United Revolving Loan Fund offers financial assistance to be used in conjuncture with the owner's equity, commercial loans and state assistance.  This fund may be used for purchase of land, building, construction, remodeling, machinery, technology ad more.  Awards may take the form of short-term loans, guaranteeing a portion of commercial financial package and participation in a loan made by a commercial lender.  Storm Lake United is an Equal Opportunity Lender. 




The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) is a $96 million investment in growing Iowa's small businesses, including startups, manufacturers and businesses owned by veterans and individuals from diverse backgrounds. The funding is available through the U.S. Treasury Department's SSBCI, a small business aid program that was expanded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The Treasury Department approved Iowa's amount based on a plan submitted by IEDA. Iowa's SSBCI dollars will focus on encouraging venture capital and investment in scalable innovation companies through the programs below.

IEDA Funding Opportunities | Downtown Resource Center 

Funding sources to investigate are listed below.   Keep in mind not all funding sources will be applicable for all projects and/or communities.

Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program

Downtown Loan Guarantee Program 

Downtown Revitalization Fund Community Development Block Grant

Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit

Nuisance Property and Abandoned Building Remediation Loan Program 

Workforce Housing Tax Credits


Tax increment finance (TIF) promotes economic development efforts in a specific area by directing limited property tax revenues generated from property value increases within a designated TIF district to finance the cost of certain improvements made in the district. 

What is a TIF Area?
A tax increment financing area (TIF Area) is usually created by a city or county for use as an economic development tool.  A community college can also create a TIF Area for a new jobs training program.

How is a TIF Area created?
A city or county must adopt an urban renewal plan and then an ordinance for the division of TIF taxes. The process prescribes public notice and public hearing requirements.

How do taxes in a TIF Area work?
Taxes in a TIF Area are split between the “base” and the “increment” values. Base value is generally described as the existing value before the TIF Area was created. Increment value is generally described as the growth in value after the TIF Area was created.

What happens to the "base" taxes and the "increment" taxes?
Taxes levied on the base value are distributed by the county treasurer to the Levy Authorities in the same manner as regular (non-TIF) Tax Districts. Taxes levied on the increment value are paid to the TIF Authority.

Who is the "TIF Authority"?
The TIF Authority is the governmental body that created the TIF Area. Usually a city, it could also be a county, a community college, or a rural improvement zone. 

How much of my taxes go the city (or county) for debt for the TIF Area? 
The amount of increment taxes depends on the relative proportion of base value to increment value in the TIF Area, and also on whether or not the TIF Authority requests all of the available TIF increment taxes in a given year. You can see the distribution of your taxes on your tax bill.

Do all of the taxes on the increment value go to pay TIF debt?
No. Debt levies for counties, schools, and cities are applied against both base and increment value, as are physical plant and equipment levies for school districts.

Are my taxes higher because my property is in a TIF Area? 
To answer this question, it is useful to assume a situation in which two real estate parcels are exactly the same in the following respects: each has the same valuation, Property Class, tax credits & exemptions, and Consolidated Tax Levy Rate. The only difference between the two is that one is in a TIF Area and the other is not. The result is that both properties will pay exactly the same amount of taxes. The difference in a TIF Area is not how much you pay in taxes, but who receives the taxes.

What qualifies to be paid from taxes on the increment value?
TIF tax revenues are used to repay debt incurred for qualifying urban renewal projects within a TIF Area. Projects are for the purposes and activities listed in Code of Iowa Sections 403.6 or 403.12 and should also be included in city’s urban renewal plan. TIF debt for an urban renewal project can take the form of rebate agreements, internal loans, general obligation bonds, or TIF revenue bonds.

Interested in learning more about TIF?  View a TIF Fact Sheet presented by the Iowa League of Cities 

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