The plan changes the way land lines, telephone poles and other property owned by cable and phone companies is taxed.
Republican Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull said the current, centralized system for property tax assessments is “archaic.”
“When you have a lot of telecommunications companies that don’t have any physical presence in our state and they don’t pay any taxes and yet you have small, telecommunications companies that are in our communities and they pay significant (property) tax,” Feenstra said, “we’ve just got to figure out some parity.”
Democrats like Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames say now is not the time to reduce the amount of property taxes cities and counties may collect.
“I mean, our local governments are already struggling,” Quirmbach said, “and I think it’s really unfair to them.”
The Iowa Association of Counties and the Iowa League of Cities are registered as undecided on the bill, however. Supporting the bill are CenturyLink, the state’s rural telephone cooperatives, the city-run telecommunications utilities and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.