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The Senate passed SF 587 on Tuesday to address two major concerns for Iowans – property tax relief and mental health funding. It provides over $100 million in property tax relief for Iowans by eliminating property tax levies and removing the tax triggers put into place in the 2018 tax bill. Additionally, it provides $60 million in state funding for mental health in Iowa in the first year, $125 million in the second, and sets up sustainable, predictable funding growth for the future.

While SF 587 has focused the conversation on property tax reform and mental health funding, there are concerns about how this is being achieved.  One of those concerns is the repeal of the PERL levy. The PERL levy is used by school districts to support district community recreational projects. Due to the extension of the SAVE tax a few years ago, it is believed that SAVE can offer adequate funding for those who levy PERL. After conversations with our local districts, there needs to be more discussion on how to transition away from PERL. We will continue to work with our colleagues in the House and the governor’s office to make any necessary adjustments to the bill.

SF 587 as amended is proof that we are continuing to keep our promises to Iowans. The bill was a bold move toward completing a multi-year conversation on mental health funding, property tax reform, and overall tax reform. We will continue to work toward keeping more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, not the general fund of your government.

Author: Jeff Edler