Session 2012 Must Do: Property Tax Reform


This week the House worked through several important bills as we work our way through the 2012 session.

As we’re nearing the end of the session, one major issue that Iowans have asked us to address is property tax reform and relief, which the Senate still has not taken up. The looming property tax increase that is facing Iowans has yet to be acted upon by the Senate. Before the Legislature adjourns for the year, we must take up a bill that prevents this increase.

Now is the time for real reform:
If we do nothing, the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa are staring down the barrel of a $2.3 billion property tax increase over the next 10 years, with the majority of that falling to homeowners. We must not let that happen.

Not only does property tax reform affect Iowa homeowners, it also affects Iowa’s economy and is an impediment to putting people back to work. Our uncompetitive property tax system is a burden on job creators and deters businesses of all sizes from expanding, hiring or even settling on Iowa.

The House Republicans have sent three alternative bills to the Senate. All three provide bold, significant solutions that go to all classes of property and are something that job creators and homeowners can continually count on. Our plan ensures that one group of taxpayers is not pitted against the other. ALL Iowans deserve to see relief in their tax bill. Additionally, we have not shifted the burden to any class of property. The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency’s fiscal note says, “House File 2274 will decrease property taxes paid by all classes of property.”

In addition to these reforms, The House Republicans are providing property tax relief in the form of mental health redesign. Today property taxpayers are required to provide $125 million statewide to pay for mental health services in Iowa. The House Republican proposal brings equity across the state to the mental health levy and puts more of the burden on the state rather than the property taxpayer. Not only does this address equity, it also addresses the question on what should property taxes pay for.

Our budget also fully-funds property tax credits, including the homestead credit. The last time these were fully-funded was 2000.

Now is the time for action, not talk on property tax reform. Iowans expect and deserve action on this legislation.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact me at (515) 281-3521 or kraig.paulsen@legis.state.ia.us

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