Governor Branstad is rejecting the idea of reducing commercial property taxes by $250 million, favoring instead the much larger amount Republicans envision.
“First of all, it’s not about dollars,” Branstad says. “It’s about permanent property tax relief.”
The Iowa Senate’s Democratic leader recently suggested $250 million in commercial property tax credits as an alternative to the $1.2 billion property tax reduction plan Branstad and Republicans in the House have devised. Branstad describes that plan as “much more comprehensive” because it would limit future increases in residential and agricultural property taxes and reduce property taxes for all classes of property — homes, farmland and businesses.
“We want to see permanent property tax relief approved,” Branstad says.
The Republican governor has indicated he’s willing to accept a tax cut Democrats want to give low-income Iowans in exchange for a deal on property tax reduction.
“This is a process of negotiations and we’re negotiating with the end in mind,” Branstad says, “And we recognize there’s some things that we need to work on in the House and there’s some things we need to work on in the Senate.”
Under the Republican plan, about 46 percent of commercial property in Iowa that’s already being taxed at a much lower rate because it’s located in a “tax increment financing” district would not get another tax cut. The GOP plan calls for a 40 percent reduction in the rest of the state’s commercial property over the next eight years.
AUDIO of Branstad”s weekly news conference.