By O. Kay Henderson (Radio Iowa)
The Iowa House has approved a bill to prevent the statewide $133 million increase in residential property taxes that legislators say was the unintended consequence of a 2021 law.
The fix cleared the Senate February 1st and it passed the House yesterday. Representative John Forbes of Urbandale is among the Democrats who say it’s unfair to city and county officials who’ve already built slightly bigger budget plans.
“When you look at the cities budgeting for about 50% for public safety, that’s probably where most of the cuts are going to come from,” Forbes said. “In my city alone, we’re looking at close to a million dollar budget cut.”
The bill gives cities and counties until April 30, an extra 30 days, to complete their spending plans for the budgeting year that begins July 1. Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton said that gives cities and counties plenty of time to redo budgets based on the new information about how much property taxes will be paid.
“There will not be one dime cut from public safety due to this piece of legislation and if someone does choose to do that, that’s a local decision, that’s a poor decision and it’s one that I don’t think is actually going to happen,” Kaufmann said. “…This is not a cut. This is not a receipt of tax dollars into a checking account that we’re then going to be taking it.”
The glitch that’s being fixed was caused when lawmakers decided apartment buildings, nursing homes and mobile home parks would no longer be taxed like commercial property, but as residential property, starting this fall.