Proposals to cut property taxes for Iowa flood victims are coming in for some sharp criticism from an Iowa City think tank. Lawmakers from both parties have proposed giving some type of tax cut, and Governor Culver has not ruled it out.
David Osterberg with the Iowa Fiscal Partnership says cutting property taxes would hurt local governments just when they are already reeling from flood problems.. "To cut taxes as some people are calling for, takes the resources from local governments when they need them most," Osterberg says.
And Osterberg says a property tax cut would not necessarily go to those most adversely affected. Osterberg says just because people live in an area that was flooded does not mean that everyone was equally affected. He calls the tax cuts a blunt instrument.
Some at the statehouse are looking to intervene in time to affect September property tax payments. It’s one idea that could be considered if lawmakers return in special session to address flood relief. Governor Culver has said he will wait for a report from the Rebuild Iowa Commission before making recommendations to the legislature.