To paraphrase former President Obama, “We won. Deal with it.” Over the last few years, winning has been what taxpayers across Iowa have done.
In her Condition of the State address, Governor Kim Reynolds called out critics at the Capitol and in the media, citing recent legislative victories, including collective bargaining reform and overhauling the state’s income tax code, and shared her vision for Iowa’s future.
Governor Reynolds wants to make Iowa more efficient and competitive with:
- Reforming education with Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs)
- Promoting strong and healthy families
- Streamlining government by reducing 37 cabinet agencies to 16
- Simplifying Iowa’s complex system of red tape and regulations
The governor didn’t mention property taxes Tuesday evening, but during her budget hearing in December, she agreed with ITR President Chris Hagenow and said, “You’re right on property tax. It’s probably the most hated tax out there. That’s next up.”
House and Senate leadership are ready to put the pedal down as they drive a conservative agenda.
House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl said the 2022 election shows they have a mandate. “We took a message out, we showed Iowans what we’re capable of, we told them what we’re going to do, and how we’re going to govern. And (voters) said, ‘Yes, that is what we want,'” Windschitl said.
Speaker Pat Grassley declared, “This session, our agenda is bold. We’re crafting creative solutions to the issues that have plagued our state for years, like workforce shortages. We’re digging deep into the issues that are often times deemed too complicated to address, like property taxes.”
Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver said the first supermajority in the Iowa Senate in 50 years “happened because we delivered common sense solutions to the most important issues facing Iowans.”
Whitver wants to continue delivering solutions. “Iowans pay some of the highest property taxes in the country, and the system responsible for that problem wasn’t built overnight, and the solution to it won’t be either. But I can tell you, Senate Republicans are up to the challenge on the best long-term strategy for Iowa taxpayers.”
Senate President Amy Sinclair said, “As we continue to find ways to support Iowa families, we also need to look at ways to help stabilize finances and Iowa’s economy.” Property tax reform is part of their solution. Sinclair continued, “Senate Republicans are listening to the concerns of the taxpayer and now look to reduce the property tax burden in a meaningful way.”
This is a very exciting time for Iowa taxpayers who understand that we all deserve a break from a crushing property tax burden. We are pleased to see leaders from both the House and Senate express a strong interest in significant property tax reform.
ITR believes that Iowa has too much government, and any meaningful tax reform should limit what local governments can spend, not simply shift the burden of who pays.
Lawmakers have done well over the past several years to limit growth in the state budget, in turn making historic income tax cuts possible. That sort of strong leadership will be needed to address the property tax problem at the local level.
ITR will be at the Capitol every day to make sure legislators hear the voice of the taxpayer. We are optimistic that Iowans will see legislative victories that get the government out of your pocket by lowering the tax burden and off your back by reducing regulations and increasing opportunity.
If you haven’t done so yet, sign ITR’s two-year property tax freeze petition: