A coalition of 26 Democrats and three Republicans in the Iowa Senate has voted to create a new commercial property tax credit. Democrats like Senator Matt McCoy of Des Moines call it a “Main Street”effort.
“This bill will help eight out of 10 commercial properties in this state…$250 million dollars,” McCoy said. “That’s a lot of money that’s going to be returned to Iowa taxpayers.”
Senator Rick Bertrand of Sioux City was one of three Republicans who voted for the proposal.
“I’m not looking for a fight. I’m looking here to move the process,” Bertrand said. “…Let’s get this bill over to the House, not as a real job-creating plan. That’s not what it is. Let’s call it what it is: it’s a shell. It’s a vehicle that can now facilitate the process to true, comprehensive property tax reform.”
But 21 other Republicans, like Senator Jack Whitver of Ankeny, voted against the plan.
“The bill before us ignores residential property taxes and turns its back on every homeowner in the state of Iowa,” Whitver said.
Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, responded: “Y’all keep looking for the perfect plan. (It) doesn’t exist…This is an incremental process. We have to start somewhere.”
Republicans in the House have crafted their own plan, which seeks to limit future increases in residential and farmland property taxes, while cutting commercial property tax rates by 20 percent over five years. It’s similar to Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s proposal.