Senate Republicans propose new limits on how high property taxes may increase on commercial and industrial property. Senator Jeff Angelo, a Republican from Creston, says Iowa’s business property taxes are third-highest in the nation, and it’s time for legislators to act. “We have to admit that property taxes remain on the rise in Iowa in a dramatic way,” Angelo says. “We’re attempting to talk about some property tax issues that we think should be addressed.”
Senator Mark Zieman, a Republican from Postville, says the property taxes businesses pay are an impediment to economic growth in Iowa. “We’ve seen a steady increase in commercial and industrial property taxes and no way to limit their growth,” Zieman says. “That’s one of the reasons this bill is coming forward.” The plan would tie business property tax rates to the rates paid by homeowners and those who own agricultural land, and property tax rates on all those kinds of properties could grow by no more than four percent.
Critics say that means homeowners will have to pay more, but Senate Co-Leader Stewart Iverson, a Republican from Clarion, prefers to say the proposal treats all property the same, for tax purposes. “It put it in a position where it’s more equalized,” he says. Iverson says the prospects are “decent” that the proposal will pass. “There’s people on both sides of the aisle who see the need for some changes,” Iverson says. “I’m hopeful that we can work together to get this bill moving.”