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TIF Causes Problems for Property Tax Reform

Posted: Friday, March 2nd, 2012 at 6:26 am
Author: KCII News - Brad Gaspelin

As previously reported, lawmakers are looking at reducing the percent of taxes collected from commercial properties from 100 to 40%. A bill for tax reform has passed the House and is on to the Senate. Our local representatives, Senator Greiner and Representative Klein, both wanted to see this reform passed although they shared concerns, saying it needs to be done very carefully.

Now, Senate Democrats are saying that a major problem with the bill means it won’t be passed. The problem comes from TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, districts. Businesses in these districts would not be eligible for the new property tax rates that would come from this reform. Across Iowa, that’s 2 out of 5 businesses.

Here in Southeast Iowa, we don’t have as much of an issue with this, in Washington only 11.1% of businesses are in TIF districts. Kalona, however, does have 43.6% of their businesses in these districts. But that’s not bad when compared to the 18 cities with 100% of their businesses in TIF districts and not eligible for the tax reforms. KCII will follow this issue as its debated in the Senate.