Opinion: Behn Says Deal Likely to Modify Commercial Property Tax System
The legislation under consideration would not shift the tax burden to another class of taxpayers, Behn says.
Submitted by State Senator Jerry Behn
For the first time in over three decades, a deal may finally be in the works to begin to address Iowa’s uncompetitive commercial property tax system.
While the final details of the plan are still being worked out between Governor Branstad and key legislators of both parties in both the House and Senate, there is a growing sense of optimism that something will happen in the final days of the 2012 session.
For the past four years, Senate Republicans have made property tax relief a key centerpiece of our plan to put more Iowans back to work.
We have made it clear that property tax relief needs to:
- Be aggressive, authentic and genuine
- Limit the shift from one class of property to another
- Not let government pick winners and losers
- Be permanent and broad-based and help all classes of property
We know that in order to create more jobs, careers and opportunities right here in Iowa, our employers, small businesses and entrepreneurs need to feel certainty and confidence.
They need to know that government is not going to rock the boat with higher taxes.
Iowa currently has the second-highest commercial property taxes and the 16th highest residential property taxes in the country.
If nothing is done to address our uncompetitive property tax system, Iowans will experience a $2.5 billion property tax increase over the next 10 years, with the majority of that falling to homeowners.
Senate Republicans want to make Iowa competitive so therefore we need authentic and permanent property tax reform.
We stand ready to help pass authentic, aggressive and permanent property tax reform and we remain optimistic that such a plan could pass in the closing days of this session.
It would be a real tragedy if we missed this golden opportunity!
As always, I want to hear from you and can be reached by phone at 515-281-3560 or by e-mail atJerry.Behn@legis.iowa.gov
Senate Republican Leader
For another perspective on commercial property tax reform in Iowa, read John Norwood's blog on West Des Moines Patch.