Democrats on a Senate subcommittee Monday approved a $250 million property tax relief plan targeting help to small and Main Street businesses over five years and called on Republicans led by Gov. Terry Branstad to use it to help build a compromise to resolve the nagging issue this session.
Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, told a Senate Ways and Means subcommittee there is a “feeling of frustration” that the split-control Legislature has failed to lower rates for commercial and industrial properties. “I hope this is a new day and a new year,” he said, but noted it’s going to require a willingness by Branstad to negotiate with Democrats.
Majority Senate Democrats are moving ahead with a proposed state tax credit that will enable all businesses to be taxed at the residential rate of less than 60 percent on their first $324,000 of their assessed property value. Commercial entities would have property values above that threshold taxed at the current 100 percent rate.
McCoy said his caucus is willing to modify some provisions to get a hybrid measure passed through both legislative chambers and to the governor’s desk, but he predicted the issue will stall again if Branstad “plans to cram his plan down our throats” with his “my way or the highway” approach to governing this year.
What do you think? Will the House and Senate be able to reach a compromise on the issue, and will that compromise be agreeable to Gov. Branstad?