Iowa lawmakers debate commercial property taxes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa lawmakers debate commercial property taxes

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Governor Terry Branstad and Senate Democrats both agree they want to cut commercial property taxes, but they disagree on the amount and which companies will receive lower rates.

Branstad's $350 million plan would gradually reduce taxable assessments for commercial property owners by 20 percent.

Senate Democrats want to give small and medium sized businesses twice the tax cut as the governor, but much less for big business.

"If we're going to spend state money to provide property tax relief, it ought to go to main street smaller businesses, not Wal-Marts and big box chains that are house and have their headquarters in other states," Iowa City State Senator Joe Bolkcom said.

Senate Democrats are proposing a $250 million plan, which would gradually provide commercial property owners with a tax credit equivalent to a roughly 40 percent tax cut on their first $324,000 in assessed property value.

The Governor says not giving big businesses big breaks mean some small businesses won't see a benefit.

"If you have a shopping center that has 100 tenants and you divide that among 100 tenants, it doesn't amount to anything," Gov. Branstad said.

Branstad's plan would also slow the growth of residential and agricultural assessments. Funding would be provided to local governments to make up lost revenue.

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