In Iowa tax records have been kept since 1834, when the first county was formed. Tax lists are often used as substitutes for missing census records. They are especially valuable because they are usually taken each year. They start about the time a county was created and records are generally kept in the county seat. They may include poll tax records, railroad tax books, taxable land lists, records of delinquent taxes, and road tax books. Some tax lists have been microfilmed and are at the Family History Library.
Tax lists for Civil War times are found in:
United States. Bureau of Internal Revenue. Internal Revenue Assessment Lists for Iowa, 1862–1866. National Archives Microfilm Publications; M0766. Washington, DC: The National Archives, 1988. (FHL films 1534648–63; ) The records are arranged by districts. The taxes were levied on carriages, billiard tables, gold and silver plate (dishware), income in excess of $600, and some inheritance of personal property. The state was divided into six districts, which are described in the Family History Library Catalog.
From mid-March 1934 to 1936, an Old Age Assistance Tax was levied. These tax records often provide the person’s birth date and birthplace and full names of the parents (including the wife's maiden name). The persons listed were born between the 1850s and 1914. The lists only include persons who owned real estate or taxable personal property. The following source is an example of the records available:
Wayne County (Iowa). County Recorder. Old Age Assistance Records, 1934–1936. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (FHL films 1653885–88) The records are alphabetical.
Taxation records are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
IOWA - TAXATION
IOWA, [COUNTY] - TAXATION