ITR Urges Strong Limits on Property Taxes

June 17, 2011 @ 11:30 AM

Des Moines, IA. -- Iowans for Tax Relief today “strongly urged the Legislature to listen to the great majority of Iowans who want real property tax relief, and reject the whining of politicians and lobbyists who oppose responsible limits on property taxes.” 

        Dr. Don Racheter, ITR Government Relations Director, said, “ITR supports the House-passed bill (HF 697) which will protect property taxpayers in three important ways:  (1) It will reduce the unfair tax burden on business property and help attract job-creating construction.  (2) It will limit the total amount of most city and county property taxes and allow increases only to match inflation, unless the voters approve higher taxes.  (3) It will tighten the limit on annual increases of taxable value of Iowa homes and farms, reducing the current 4% limit to 2%.”

        “City and county governments should be grateful for these generous limits.  They are not asked to take a cut.  They can increase their property taxes every year to match the inflation rate (Midwest consumer price index).  If even more is needed, the local voters can approve a larger tax increase for up to two years.  Local politicians should trust their voters.”

       “The Iowa House of Representatives and Governor Branstad are leading our state government to limit spending and taxes, and clean up Iowa’s overspending mess.  Iowa families are tightening their belts in hard times, cutting their spending. It’s time for city and county governments to join the rest of Iowa and accept these responsible limits on property taxes.”

        Racheter asked, “How many Iowa workers get annual raises to match the rate of inflation?  Many Iowa families have taken pay cuts or lost their jobs.  And now they hear some politicians and lobbyists complaining their annual property tax increases are too small!”

        “HF 697 places a common-sense limit on how fast property taxes can grow.  It follows our Founders’ wisdom that constitutional government is limited government.”

        Racheter said, “In the Senate Ways and Means Committee’s so-called “Listen and Learn” session on property tax reform, I was not allowed to speak as a taxpayer, citizen, or representative of Iowans for Tax Relief.  The speakers were hand-picked tax-eaters who whined about the possibility that their gravy train might be slowed.”

        “Senate Democrats would learn a lot more if they would listen to Iowa taxpayers who pay the bills and whose families are doing more with less.  Listen to them, not to politicians who want to spend other people’s money.”