-- Local elected officials joined Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds at their weekly news conference this morning to express their support for the administration's property tax reform plan.
The officials note that the plan does not come at the expense of Iowa's local governments.
"If we do nothing, those hardworking Iowa taxpayers will face a two billion dollar tax increase over the next eight years, with half that increase falling directly on Iowa homeowners," said Reynolds, a former local elected official who served as the Clarke County treasurer. "I want to thank these local government officials who recognize our plan is an investment in Iowa's families and small businesses."
Branstad noted that his plan is needed for job creation in Iowa, citing conversations he's had in all of Iowa's 99 counties each year.
"These officials know the important roles local government plays but also know that our property tax system is making Iowa uncompetitive and costing our state jobs," said Branstad. "We have been clear since introducing our reform efforts that any property tax reform must be permanent and all classes of property must benefit. This year, there is one key difference to our proposal: we fully backfill the revenue local governments will lose due to the tax cut."
When fully implemented, the governor and lieutenant governor's reform plan would reduce property taxes by $400 million. Iowa's commercial property taxes are currently the third-highest in the nation, and for years making it difficult to attract and retain jobs in Iowa.
The growing list of local officials supporting the administration's property tax plan is as follows:
1. Chad Airhart, Dallas County Recorder
2. Kim Chapman, Dallas County Supervisor
3. Creighton Cox, Urbandale City Council
4. Jeremy Davis, Ames City Council
5. Dave Drew, Woodbury County Sheriff
6. John Etheredge, Johnson County Supervisor-Elect
7. Brad Gaul, Cedar County Supervisor
8. Jarret Heil, Marshall County Treasurer
9. Harold Higman, Mayor of Akron
10. Don Kass, Plymouth County Supervisor
11. Jeff Kaufmann, Cedar County Supervisor
12. Dick Kirchoff, Mayor of LeMars
13. Jon McAvoy, Adel City Council
14. Gary Nystrom, Boone City Council
15. Alan Ostergren, Muscatine County Attorney
16. Noreen Otto, Newton City Council
17. Dale Petersen, Mayor of Sergeant Bluff
18. Guy Richardson, Greene County Supervisor
19. Adam Schweers, Mayor of Carroll
20. Dick Sievers, Remsen City Council
21. Dawn Smith, Mayor of Durant
22. David E. Steffens, Mayor of Lake Mills
23. Renee Twedt, Story County Treasurer
24. Jayson Vande Hoef, Osceola County Supervisor
25. Tom Walling, Oskaloosa City Councilman
26. Stan Watne, Wright County Supervisor