A battle in the Iowa Senate over a plan that would cut property taxes for apartment landlords has pitted Democrat against Democrat. Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines, says because of sky-high property taxes, many Iowa apartment-dwellers pay some of the highest rent in the nation.
"One study found that Des Moines ranked third — after New York (and) Detroit, Michigan — as the most expensive place to live in an apartment complex," McCoy says. According to McCoy, many Iowa landlords are delaying improvements to their apartments because they’ll face even higher property taxes. "This is an important bill because it will impact nearly a million Iowans who do live in apartment complexes and depend upon us to create an environment where they can live in safe, clean, affordable housing," McCoy says.
McCoy’s bill would give apartment complexes the same tax break that’s applied to homes, townhomes and condos. But Senator Keith Kreiman, a Democrat from Bloomfield, says that change will ultimately reduce the amount of property taxes going into city and county coffers. "How do we expect our counties and cities to make up those amounts?" Kreiman asks. "You do it one of two ways: you raise taxes or you cut services." The Senate debated the issue off-and-on all day Wednesday.