Senate Ways and Means Committee. (RI Photo)

The top Republican on a senate panel that drafts tax policy says property tax reform plans will be developed first before other any tax ideas are considered.

“Obviously, property taxes is the name of the game this year,” Republican Senator Dan Dawson of Council Bluffs said, “and we’ll see what opportunities we have here.”

Dawson, who is chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, is hinting that GOP legislators are likely to propose changes that are phased in, because the state’s property tax system is complicated.

“The system didn’t get there overnight and I don’t expect us to change things overnight,” Dawson said, “but we’re going to have to kind of find out a different way of going about our system right now, because it’s not sustainable.”

Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque, the top Democrat on the committee, has been urging Republicans to move cautiously, since property taxes pay for a variety of city and county services. And more than 40 percent of property taxes support K-12 schools.

Radio Iowa