October 31, 2014

House GOP offers its latest version of property tax reform

House Republicans today unveiled their own version of a tax reform plan that primarily targets commercial property. 

“It’s very important to House Republicans that, in particular, home owners have a role in this,” House Speaker Kraig Paulsen said Thursday afternoon, “and so we’re going to insist on that.”

Senate Democrats released a proposal Thursday which takes a slightly different approach on several tax issues, including the means by which commercial property taxes would be reduced.

“Unquestionably property tax reform and relief is something that I’ve worked on for a lot of years and this bill is important to me,” says Paulsen, the top Republican in the legislature. “But I also want to make sure that it’s meaningful and by that I mean meaningful to the property tax payers of the state of Iowa.”

The proposals cover more than just property taxes, however. The Senate Democrats’ version would grant a larger tax cut to low income Iowans through boosting the Earned Income Tax Credit from seven to 15 percent. Although House Republicans have embraced the concept, the GOP would raise the Earned Income Tax Credit to 10 rather than 15 percent.

At some point lawmakers from the two political parties will have to reconcile the two versions if a property tax reform plan is to become law.