The state’s 17 largest chambers of commerce are again pushing legislators to reduce the property tax burden on businesses. Debi Durham, president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, says the system today isn’t equitable.
Commercial and industrial properties pay 34 percent of the total property taxes collected in Iowa, yet those business properties account for just 20 percent of the total property valuations.
In comparison, Durham says homes — residential property — accounts for 61 percent of the valuations, but homeowners pay 47 percent of the total property taxes collected. Durham says the Iowa Chamber Alliance, representing Iowa’s 17 largest chambers of commerce, is not asking for homeowners to pay more, but are urging the governor and legislators to consider other alternatives, like a property tax freeze so business property taxes don’t continue to go up.
“The Alliance urges a comprehensive review of Iowa’s reliance on property taxes and what (those the tax) funds to determine the efficiency…of those services in today’s competitive technology age,” Durham says. Much of the property taxes that are paid in Iowa go to support public schools. Dave Roederer, a spokesman for the Iowa Chamber Alliance, says the pressure will be on legislators to respond to the pleas of businesses.
Roederer says businesses are seeing their property tax bills go up each year, and under the current formula, that escalation will continue. “Let’s at least stop the hemorrhaging,” Roederer says. You may remember Durham’s name from the 2002 gubernatorial campaign. She was Republican candidate Doug Gross’ lieutenant governor runningmate.