Gov. Terry E. Branstad today said his primary focus remains on creating the jobs Iowa needs in order to poise the state for future growth, and says property tax reform must be enacted this year to avoid "kicking the can down the road."
"While a lot of the recent talk has centered around the budget, I want to remind everyone that our primary focus continues to be creating jobs for Iowans," said Branstad. "If we are unable to compete with states like Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana or even in Manhattan, NY, Iowa companies are at a severe disadvantage when competing in a global economy with the likes of China, India and other emerging countries.
"For Iowa's employers, this is important as there should not be a choice between hiring another employee and paying the tax bill," said Branstad.
Branstad is optimistic something will be accomplished on property taxes this session.
"For more than 30 years, we've kicked the can down the road, and each year, there are a few more empty storefronts and office buildings along that road," said Branstad. "I have been encouraged by the efforts to resolve this issue in the Legislature, and I will continue to work with them in order to get meaningful property tax reform enacted."
Branstad also notes failure to act on commercial property taxes, and failure to cap residential property taxes, will amount to a $1.3 billion tax increase during a time of economic uncertainty.
"We will not see this session end without property tax reform," said Branstad.