The state’s 17 largest Chambers of Commerce are defending the use of a tax gimmick that’s come under fire. The Iowa Farm Bureau wants to dramatically change the state’s property tax system and get rid of Tax Increment Financing or TIFS which use property taxes as collateral to pay for sewers, water lines and other upgrades in cities. The Farm Bureau argues the TIFs keep property taxes low in developing areas, and shift the tax burden onto others. Dan Huber , president of the Iowa Chamber Alliance, says the state’s 17 largest cities believe it’s important for cities to have a “locally-controlled” economic development mechanism like Tax Increment Financing. He says it has helped communities grow their tax base. Huber, though, says his group isn’t coming out against the Farm Bureau plan yet because they’re still digesting the details. Huber is also president and C-E-O of Davenport One, which is the Chamber of Commerce in Davenport. The Iowa Chamber Alliance has the following city Chambers of Commerce as members: Ames, Bettendorf, Burlington, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Clinton, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Mason City, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo.
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