A bill to limit property tax hikes has cleared its first hurdle at the Statehouse. The bill sets up a formula that essentially limits property tax increases to inflation, with a little extra leeway for cities or counties that are growing. Senator Matt McCoy of Des Moines says the limit will strangle cities where people are moving in and building new houses.But Senator Merlin Bartz of Grafton says some counties have raised property taxes way too much.Bartz says the bill is hopefully a first step toward a major overhaul of the property tax system.The bill also makes it easier for a property owner to protest a tax assessment, and get it lowered. The legislation is now headed to the Senate’s tax committee for review.