A task force studying Iowa’s property-tax system is expected to recommend a 25-million-dollar investment from the state to cut property taxes. Governor Chet Culver appointed the group, to find ways to lower business property taxes. Task force member Jim Kurtenbach of Nevada says one way to do that is to have the state pick up a larger share of school funding.
"Any funds the legislature allocates from the general fund to property taxes for school funding will benefit all Iowa taxpayers," Kurtenbach says. He says, however, it’s too small an amount to be meaningful or to make Iowa competitive on commercial property taxes.
Twenty-five million in one year is not enough," Kurtenbach says. "It would have to be multiple years and significantly larger, and address some of the other issues." Kurtenbach says he’d like to see the state use an increase in the cigarette tax to "buy down" property-tax rates.
Others on the task force say it’s not likely, because any increase in tobacco taxes would probably be dedicated to healthcare spending. We could see final recommendations from the task force as soon as next week.