Republicans move forward with Branstad tax plan


March 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A commercial property tax proposal from Gov. Terry Branstad is moving forward in the Republican-majority Iowa House, while a very different plan has support in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Republicans in a House ways and means subcommittee on Monday approved legislation from Branstad that would gradually reduce taxable assessments for commercial property owners by 20 percent. Branstad’s plan, which is estimated to cost $350 million, would also slow the growth of residential and agricultural assessments.

Senate Democrats have given committee-level approval to a plan that would gradually provide commercial property owners with a tax credit equivalent to a roughly 40 percent tax cut on their first $324,000 in assessed property value. Democrats say their $250 million plan would help small businesses more than Branstad’s plan.