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Iowa May Cut Business Property Taxes

by Morgan Thomas, Chicago, March 2012

Legislation is making its way through the Iowa Legislature to give businesses a sizeable property tax break. Proponents and critics have a different take on whether the plan's merits outweigh its shortcomings.




The Iowa House passed House File 2274 on a 59-38 vote and sent it on to the Senate. The measure cuts property taxes paid by businesses nearly in half over an eight-year period.


Gov. Terry Brandstad supports the House plan, which would gradually lower taxes on assessed values for businesses from the current 100% to just 60%.




Opponents are concerned because the overall impact of the bill would cut local property taxes by $1.2 billion but only give local governments a little over $800 million to replace it.


Representative Dan Jocoby told the Associated Press the measure doesn't offer real tax relief – it's really just a tax swap. "There is no true tax relief here, you are just shuffling the deck," Jacoby said.


Critics also argue that dramatically cutting business taxes gives an enormous windfall for big corporations, many from out of state.


Lawmakers will work to iron out their differences before their scheduled adjournment date for the 2012 legislature session on April 17th.