Republican Governor Terry Branstad says a provision in the property tax reform bill that gives a break to apartment owners is something that was pushed by Democrats.
The mayors of the 10 largest cities in the state spoke out today against that portion of the property tax reform plan, but Branstad says Senate Democrat leader, Mike Gronstal pushed for it.
“This is Senator Gronstal’s priority, so we had to reach a compromise. It wasn’t in my original recommendation, but to get something done we need to do something. And look at it from a fairness perspective. Is it fair to people who live in apartment houses to have to pay higher taxes than people who live in other residences? I don’t think it is,” according to Branstad.
The governor says the apartment tax break shouldn’t kill the property tax reform plan. “In order to get something accomplished when you have a split legislature, we have to work with both sides. And so (House) Speaker Paulsen and I both agreed that we would go along with the apartment recommendation that Senate Democrats wanted. So we believe that it would be a tragedy not to pass this bill because of concerns about that,” Branstad says.
The fate of the property tax reform package is still up in the air. Branstad made his remarks to reporters after a town hall meeting in Decorah.
By Darin Svenson, KDEC, Decorah