DES MOINES, Iowa — Lawmakers attempted to provide property owners with some relief with the rising property tax assessments all over the state.
Earlier in the afternoon on Wednesday, the Iowa Senate passed a bill in a bipartisan fashion, that Senate Republicans say would provide $100 million in relief to property owners.
The senate’s wide-ranging bill looks to eliminate two levies, changes the veterans and seniors property tax credit to an exemption. That change is believed to create $57 million in relief. There is another $45.4 million in relief created by a city and county levy reform, with a mechanism that looks to reduce spending by both local entities.
The bill passed with only one no vote, with some general concerns from Senate Democrats claiming this bill didn’t provide enough relief.
“I’m worried about grandma, and those senior women with their property taxes going up, are forced to get out of their homes,” said Iowa State Senator William Dotzler, (D), District 31 from Waterloo. “But this bill here will help reduce property taxes, but not by that much when you add it up.”
In the House, one no vote was tallied in the House Republicans’ version of property tax reform. House Republicans estimate the bill will create more than $200 million in tax relief.
The bill reduces the 5.40 levy by $1, caps the annual property tax increases for residential and agricultural properties at 3%, and caps commercial and industrial properties at 8% increases per year. The bill also requires all elections for bonds to be held every November.
“We have heard you as you stated that property taxes are easily the most unpopular tax that exists. We have heard you, that your bills and evaluations have exploded in growth,” said Iowa State Representative Bobby Kaufmann,(R), District 82 from Wilton.
“I think in my opinion, we have had many failed tax policies over the years, policy that did not help everyday Iowans. This I believe will help everyday Iowans,” said Iowa State Representative Dave Jacoby, (D) District 86 from Coralville.
There are 9 calendar days left in session, but Rep. Kaufmann alluded that he and the senate leadership have been negotiating all session long on the massive property tax legislation. A bill will need to clear both chambers before Gov. Reynolds can sign it and Iowans feel the tax relief.