Two lawmakers propose cutting property taxes statewide by 350 million dollars over seven years. Representative Kraig Paulsen, a republican from Hiawatha, wants the state to gradually pick up more of the cost of public K-through-12 education, taking some of the burden off property owners. Paulsen says Iowans are issuing a “resounding, high-level mantra” that they’re paying too much in property taxes, He says the proposal directly responds to that complaint by making everyone who pays income, sales, and other taxes to the state help support schools. Paulsen says residents in property-poor school districts will get a bigger share of the 350 million in property tax relief than property-rich areas. Paulsen says there’s an inequity in the system today, and it’s that students in property-poor school districts are shortchanged compared to richer areas — like the suburbs. “It is property tax relief, but it’s very targeted so it fixes two or three other problems also,” Paulsen says. Paulsen says he’s confident the bill could pass the House, but he doesn’t know how the Senate or the governor will react. Even if the bill becomes law, schools would still be able to collect local property taxes. A general school levy would still exist and voters could still pay higher property taxes in order to pay for school construction or renovation.
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