Both chambers of the Iowa legislature passed property tax relief on Tuesday. The bill, House File 718, is expected to deliver roughly $100 million in property tax relief while increasing transparency.
According to Iowa House Republicans, the bill will curb budget growth of local governments without discouraging economic development. Seniors and military veterans will receive immediate relief by creating new exemptions totaling $50 million and $7 million in relief, respectively. Tax bills will also be required to appear more like an itemized receipt, showing where money is going.
Republican State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann floor managed the bill through the House.
“For Iowa veterans who pay property taxes, this bill is a big deal,” said Kaufmann in his closing comments. “For Iowans over 65 who pay property taxes, this bill is a big deal. For all Iowans who pay property taxes, the transparency and certainty that this bill provides is a big deal. For all Iowans who made their voices heard, we listened, and relief is on the way.”
The bill passed the House 94-1 after it passed the Iowa Senate 49-0.
A survey conducted by Iowans for Tax Relief showed 67 percent of Iowans support the legislature establishing limits on how much local governments can tax and spend.
The Senate Republicans said HF 718 will indeed limit the cost of local government spending, automatically reduce tax rates when assessments rise, provide clarity for taxpayers on local budgets and spending all while consolidating and simplifying 15 property tax levies.
“I am proud to add yet another historic accomplishment to protect the taxpayer,” said Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver. “Iowans feared big property tax increases with their new assessments. This bill fixes it.”
“Senate Republicans have spent the last several months working on a thoughtful, long-term proposal to provide real, permanent property tax relief for Iowans,” said Senator Dan Dawson. “House File 718 is the most comprehensive property tax relief to be passed by a legislature and, I believe, passed in a single legislative session. I am proud of the bill that is passing today and the monumental effect it will have on the lives of hard-working Iowans.”