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February 14th, 2012

House Passes Historic Property Tax Reform

(DES MOINES) – Tuesday the Iowa House passed House File 2274, the only property tax proposal that delivers significant tax relief and genuine reform to all classes of Iowa’s property tax payers.

Iowa currently has the 2nd highest commercial property taxes and the 16th highest residential property taxes in the country. Additionally, over the last ten years, school property tax collections have increased 60 percent, counties have increased 64 percent and cities have gone up 74 percent. Over the same time period, Iowans’ personal income only grew by 46 percent.

If nothing is done, Iowans are staring down the barrel of a $2.5 billion property tax increase over the next 10 years, with the majority of that falling to homeowners.

“For too long, the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa have been carrying a heavy property tax burden, one that is only going to get worse,” said Rep. Tom Sands, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. “Iowans expect and deserve property tax relief and this bill delivers it.”

Property tax reform also affects Iowa’s economy and is an impediment to putting people back to work. The Republican plan further provides an emphasis on smaller, Main Street, entrepreneur-type employers. It creates predictability and stability for all employers.

“Our uncompetitive property tax system is a burden on job creators and prohibits businesses of all sizes from expanding, hiring or even settling in Iowa,” said Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha). “This pro-growth, pro-jobs plan creates predictability and certainty for Iowa families and employers.”

Highlights of the Republican plan include:
ALL Iowans receive tax relief and there is no shifting of burdens to any one class of property
Job creators receive a $602 million property tax cut
Homeowners receive a $417 million property tax cut
Republicans’ proposal offers a total of $1.2 billion in relief for Iowa property taxpayers

The plan proposed by Democrats results in a $2.5 billion property tax increase, with $1.69 billion of that falling on the backs of homeowners.

According to public polling, Iowans favor broad based property tax relief proposal, similar to the Republican plan, by a 2 to 1 margin over a targeted tax credit plan, similar to the Democrat plan.

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The Iowa Republican

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