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Jarad Klein Talks About Property Tax Reform in Weekly Report

Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2012 at 6:24 am
Author: KCII News - Brad Gaspelin

As previously reported by KCII, the Iowa House has passed House File 2274, which deals with property tax reform. The primary goal of this reform is to lower the collected taxes on commercial properties from 100 to 40% over time. Jarad Klein discussed the reforms in his weekly report. He says that Iowa has the 2nd highest commercial property tax rate, and the 16th highest residential tax rate. He says the reforms passed in the House would lead to $602 million dollars in commercial property tax cuts, and $417 million in homeowner property tax cuts. He also says the House File would not shift tax burdens from one class of property to another. In his weekly report he also discussed the visit from Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.

On the Hill with Klein – Week 6

This week the Iowa House passed House File 2274 which reformed Iowa’s outdated, 30 year old property tax system. Our bill from the House is the only property tax proposal that delivers significant tax relief and genuine reform to all classes of Iowa’s property tax payers. Without the passage of this bill in the Senate, Iowa taxpayers will see a $2.5 billion property tax increase over the next 10 years, with a majority of that falling to homeowners. I am proud that I supported this bill and cast my vote for it as it will bring significant tax relief to Iowa.

Iowa currently has the 2nd highest commercial property taxes and the 16th highest residential property taxes in the country. Additionally, over the last ten years, school property tax collections have increased 60 percent, counties have increased 64 percent, and cities have gone up 74 percent.  Over the same time period, Iowans’ personal income only grew by 46 percent. Something had to be done.

The highlights of our House plan are:

  • ALL Iowans receive tax relief and there is no shifting of burdens to any one class of property
  • Job creators receive a $602 million property tax cut
  • Homeowners receive a $417 million property tax cut
  • Republicans’ proposal offers a total of $1.2 billion in relief for Iowa property taxpayers

We also had a unique opportunity this week to practice some international relations. The Vice President of China, Xi Jinping, was in Iowa on Wednesday to discuss trade deals as well as visit some old friends in Muscatine. Vice President Xi traveled to Muscatine 27 years ago on an agricultural research trip and stayed with Eleanor and Thomas Dvorchak, the couple which served as his host family. Mr. Xi returned to Muscatine on Wednesday to visit with them and have tea.

In addition to visiting Muscatine, Mr. Xi traveled Des Moines to sign a trade agreement with the state and have an Iowa-themed dinner with members of the General Assembly and other special guests. Mr. Xi and his Chinese delegation signed the $4.3 billion trade agreement which will provide China with 8.62 million tons of soybeans. The trade agreement, signed in Iowa, is part of a record-setting trade deal by the Chinese. To put into perspective how big this deal is for Iowa, just look at the fields this upcoming summer; for every 4 rows of soybeans planted, 1 of those will be heading to China. This is a great opportunity for Iowa economically.

Our Iowa-themed dinner with Vice President Xi and the Chinese delegation was also a good time. Both Iowa-grown beef and pork tenderloin were served along with corn salad. The drinks were even made in Iowa as we were served root beer from Peace Tree Brewery in Knoxville, wine from Jasper Winery in Newton, and beer from Madhouse Brewery in Newton. This was a unique experience for Iowa to showcase not only our edible creations, but also our agricultural superiority.