County Treasurer reminds residents of available services
It may be time to consider getting a "REAL ID" driverís license or identification card, according to Dickinson County Treasurer Kris Rowley.
Both documents are marked with a star verification in the upper right corner and have the backing of additional documentation to prevent fraud and identify theft.
"At some point the federal government will require either a REAL ID or a passport to fly on a commercial airline," Rowley said. "Currently that date is set for Oct. 1, 2020."
The State of Iowa began offering REAL ID driverís licenses and identification cards on Jan. 15, 2013, to people who qualify and present proper documentation. This includes Dickinson Countyís drivers license station located in Spirit Lake at the Dickinson County Courthouse, operated by the treasurerís office, open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. These can be used for official federal purposes as well as for driving or identification. Official federal purposes are defined as boarding commercial aircraft, entering federal buildings that require identification and entering nuclear power plants.
REAL ID was created in response to the attacks carried out on 9/11 by terrorists using airplanes. Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005, modifying federal law pertaining to security, authentication and issuance standards for statesí drivers licenses and identification cards. The REAL ID law is being phased in over several years. People may be able to wait until their drivers license is up for renewal before applying for a REAL ID-marked card.
"But if youíd like a REAL ID-marked card now, bring the documents required to prove identity and residency to a state or county driverís license station in Iowa and apply for a duplicate card," Rowley said. "The cost for a duplicate license or ID is currently $10. The Iowa DOTís website or the Dickinson County Iowa website under Treasurer gives information on what documentation is required. You can also call our driverís license station at 712-336-6277."
Iowa will continue to issue the non-REAL ID-marked driverís licenses and identification cards for current Iowa licensed drivers and ID holders, if desired. New drivers to the state, whether beginners or drivers who have moved in from other states, are required to present documents required for REAL ID verification at the time of application.
PROPERTY TAX ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
Rowley also said the state is offering property tax assistance to elderly and disabled people and also to mobile home owners if they have a total household income of less than $22,855.
"If you think you might qualify, contact the county treasurerís office for a claim form," she said. "This is for next September 2018 and March 2019ís property tax assistance up to $1,000 based on 2017 calendar-year incomes. Stop in or give us a call and we can help you with the application process."
Property tax credits were established by the state legislature to help low income elderly or disabled property owners pay their property tax bills. To qualify for this assistance, a citizen must have turned 65 years of age or older by Dec. 31, 2017, and have a total household income less than $22,855, or have been totally disabled and 18 years of age or older by Dec. 31, 2017.
The state also provides assistance for mobile/manufactured/modular home owners with their tax payments if they have a total household income of less than $22,855 and were 23 years of age or older as of Dec. 31, 2017. The forms are also available online at the Iowa Department of Revenueís website under "Local Government Ė Taxpayer Information Ė Credit and Exemptions Forms Ė Property Tax Credit - Senior and Disabled or Mobile Home Reduced Tax Rate."
Rowley said the treasurer's office is glad to help citizens who meet the criteria for the Iowa tax assistance programs. For more information regarding property taxes or tax credit claim forms, contact the treasurerís office at 712-336-1205.