Republican Senators say they’ll send enough state tax dollars to local governments to ensure property tax credits for homeowners can be honored by cities and counties. Senate President Jeff Lamberti says he wants to send the signal now, so county and city officials don’t raise the general property tax levy to come up with the extra dough to cover the credits. Lamberti says republicans don’t want cities and counties raising property taxes based on a false belief about what the state will or won’t do, and he hopes the Senate G-O-P’s declaration takes tax increases off the tables of city and county governments. But Republicans on the House side say it’s too early to make the commitment to set aside 160 million in state tax dollars for local property tax credits. Bill Dix of Shell Rock is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Dix says tax increases shouldn’t be on the agenda of any government. He says it’s time, instead, to talk about a property tax freeze. But Susan Judkins if the Iowa League of Cities says local officials should retain the authority to set local tax policy. Judkins says local government leaders are listening to citizens about what services are important. She says as citizens as that street lights be turned back on and library hours expanded, local officials balance those demands when they make tax policy and establish an operating budget. Iowa law currently outlines a variety of credits to offset property taxes paid to local governments. For example, there’s a property tax credit for veterans, a property tax credit for the disabled and a property tax credit for the elderly.
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