The bill that would revamp Iowa’s property tax collection system has passed the House Ways and Means tax-writing Committee. Republican lawmakers have decided on a go-slower approach. The bill as currently written calls for implementing the new system in just three counties to see how it works. A special panel would be appointed to oversee the project and recommend any changes to next year’s legislature before the new system would go into effect statewide. The overall plan calls for tying property taxes to the market value or sale prices of a home, business or farm — dumping the system in which county auditors simply raise the assessed value of a property in order to raise more taxes. This new system will force local officials to openly vote to raise the tax rate rather than relying on the back-door approach of raising assessments to raise more taxes.
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