Mahaska Area Business Advantages

The Oskaloosa and Mahaska County area of Iowa has many assets to offer quality companies who want productive workers, a friendly business climate and a community willing to help offset startup and relocation costs. Below is a synopsis of some key factors which help make Iowa and the Oskaloosa area such a desirable and profitable site location. The Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group can provide custom research services when very specific needs are identified.

The City of Oskaloosa and Mahaska County are both active participants in the economic development process. Both the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors are anxious to hear proposals from new industries and are receptive to assisting firm with such things as road improvements and water and sewer improvements. Oskaloosa has a professional community developer on staff that has considerable experience in speedily obtaining development permits and grants. Companies can be assured that there will be no development impact fees associated with a new facility in the county.

Taking Care of Business

"Osky on the Move" is a subcommittee of Main Street & Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group created to research and provide information for the purpose of benefiting existing, start-up, and new businesses. The subcommittee believes that by knowing what type of individuals Oskaloosa consists of and what they enjoy doing, it will help business owners increase sales and expand volume.

Corporate Income Taxes

Corporate tax is imposed on the net income received or earned during the income year after adjustment by subtracting 50 percent of federal income taxes.

Most importantly taxable net income is determined by a single factor formula: State income tax is imposed only on the portion of net income reasonably attributable to the trade or business conducted within the state. Iowa taxes only that portion of total sales that were generated within the state.

Property Taxes

The property tax rate in the Oskaloosa area is currently $14.97533 per $1,000 assessed valuation. Oskaloosa and Mahaska County can allow a partial exemption of the actual value added by a project for a period of ten years through our industrial tax abatement program.

The City of Oskaloosa also allows a partial exemption of property taxes for commercial projects. The percentage of taxes exempted each year under the commercial tax abatement program is as follows:

  • Year 1: 70%
  • Year 2: 50%
  • Year 3: 30%

Finally, the City of Oskaloosa also offers partial exemption of property taxes for residential projects. The percentage of taxes exempted each year under the residential tax abatement program is as follows:

  • Year 1: 80%
  • Year 2: 65%
  • Year 3: 50%
  • Year 4: 35%
  • Year 5: 25%

Other Tax Considerations


Oskaloosa does have a 1-cent local option sales tax.

For the most recent and up to date information on state tax credits, state of Iowa incentives, state incentive programs and job training programs please go to Iowa Economic Development Authority. If further assistance is needed, please contact Deann DeGroot, Director of MCARD, by email or phone at (641) 672-2591.

Local Incentives

Oskaloosa Area Chamber & Development Group (OACDG) Direct Investment Fund (DIF)

Providing direct cash incentives to new industries and businesses that locate in Mahaska County.

Creation of quality employment opportunities for area residents is a prime consideration for these funds.

Providing matching funds for any state program used in a financial package. OACDG does not make outright grants.

Mahaska County Revolving Loan Fund

Low-interest loan fund assisting industries and businesses that desire to locate, expand, or diversify their business in Mahaska County.

Assists new projects focusing on job creation and preservation and bring a positive change to the local economy and community.

Special consideration given to applications for a loan as a manufacturer or industrial type of business.

Loan amount not to exceed the funds on hand and can not fund more than 20% of the final projects. Loan amount limited to no more than $15,000 per job created or retained.

Rules regarding the RLF are at

Regional Economic Development Investments, INC. (REDI) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)

Supports business activities for which credit is not otherwise available. “Gap financing” used for business startup, expansion, or retention of jobs.

3 to 5 year loan for working capital loans, 5 to 7 years for fixed asset loans.

Fixed, simple interest rates, ranging from 4% to 4 points below the prime lending rate.

Maximum $5,000 for each job created or retained, up to a maximum of $125,000 requiring $2 from other sources for every $1 from REDI funds.

Eligible activities include expansion or modernization of facilities, purchase of machinery, equipment, fixtures, and leasehold improvements, financing increased receivables and augmenting working capital, construction of new commercial buildings, purchasing existing land and/or buildings.

Oskaloosa's gas and electric utility is Mid-American Energy Company, the state's largest, investor-owned utility. Mid-American has a very experienced, professional economic development staff who will assist a company in putting together a very competitive natural gas and electric utility package. Contact information is listed below:
Deb Calvert, Economic Development Consultant
4299 NW Urbandale Drive
Urbandale, IA 50322-7298
Office: 515-281-2595
Cell: 515-979-1037


Oskaloosa is a thriving community with a very positive business climate. Its' highway system and proximity to Des Moines provide easy access to raw materials and major markets. The State of Iowa has created numerous incentive programs which help reduce startup costs. The single factor income tax formula and deductibility of 50 percent of federal income tax keeps corporate tax liability very low. The Oskaloosa Chamber and Development Group have the resources to offer additional incentives whether a company needs sites, financing of other forms of assistance.
The affordability of labor in the area and the labor's work ethic and low turnover will also help boost company profitability. A company's workforce will benefit from and excellent school system, two four-year colleges and an abundance of cultural and recreational opportunities.

A good way to learn more about the Oskaloosa area is to visit with the leaders of some of its local firms. Any one of the members of the OACDG's Economic Development Committee, visitation team or contact team can provide the kind of personal advice and encouragement to know why Oskaloosa, Iowa, is the right place for business. The following contact information is listed below.

Deann DeGroot
Director of Mahaska County Agriculture & Rural Development
Direct Dial: 641-672-2591

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222 First Avenue East · Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577
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