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September 12th, 2010

Time for an Iowa Constitutional Amendment on Property Values

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Written by: The Iowa Republican
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By Dave Funk, Candidate for Polk County Supervisor, SD-03

You might remember when Governor Ronald Reagan inspired the citizens of California to pass property tax reform. Proposition 13 froze assessed values and made sure nobody would pay more than 1% of that value annually in property taxes.

That change lead to an economic boom in California that lasted over two decades, until government interference in the housing market, government overspending and local overregulation brought the California economy to its knees.

With Polk County’s bloated property tax bills hurting our families and stifling economic growth, it’s time that we force our state and county governments to live within their means—just like our families do.

We don’t have to pay additional taxes on our vehicles when we put on new tires or make other repairs, but our county assessor smacks us with a tax bill when we take care of our real estate. Why should a farmer fixing up an old shed, a neighbor replacing his deck, or an uncle building a new garage have to pay more in property taxes?

Every single day, I talk to concerned voters whose property tax bills have more than doubled despite their falling home, farm and commercial property values. They all tell me one thing: they can’t make heads or tails of the property valuation process. There is no question that Iowans are ready for property tax relief.

As Supervisor, I will lead the fight for an open, fair, and honest valuation process. If we really want to make Iowa a friendly place for businesses and families, we must force our legislature to go on the record about property values. Better yet, let’s allow the people of Iowa to have a say at the voting booth.

A push from local officials through the next two legislative sessions can give Iowans a chance to pass a Constitutional Amendment that will freeze assessed values and light a fire under Iowa’s economy.

Photo by Dave Davidson

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The Iowa Republican

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