The Iowa State Association of Counties has listed property tax reform as their number one priority of the upcoming legislative session. The association, which represents all 99 Iowa counties, is wrapping up its meeting in Des Moines this afternoon (Friday). ISAC Executive Director Bill Peterson says the cap on residential and agricultural property taxes is driving up commercial and industrial property taxes.

Peterson says one thing he says they consistently hear in Iowa is the need for commercial growth and business development. “They are an important engine in funding services,” Peterson says. “It comes down to a question of equity, and for us to succeed as a state we need to make sure we’re all contributing equally within the system.”

Peterson says the state needs to implement a more reasonable limit on property taxes that doesn?t penalize one payer over another. The counties’ other priorities include adequate funding for mental health services and repealing the distance requirement that keeps sex offenders from living within two-thousand feet of a school or daycare. They say the requirement is too hard to enforce and doesn?t really protect children.