The Taylor Report by Sen. Rich Taylor
Legislative update Thursday from Sen. Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.
A $250 million commercial property tax cut won bipartisan support in the Senate on April 15.
Senate File 295 cuts commercial property taxes for every Iowa business, starting from the bottom up. That means most of the benefit goes to local small business owners, the biggest job creators in our communities.
Iowa’s commercial property tax system has become a barrier to new job creation and business expansion. Commercial property owners pay taxes on 100 percent of the assessed value of their property. That’s about twice what residential property owners pay.
When the “Main Street Tax Cut” is complete, 80 percent of Iowa commercial properties—those valued at $324,000 or less—will be taxed at the same rate as residential properties. The remaining businesses will get the same break on the first $324,000 of value.
The Senate’s plan is the only one that protects Iowans from a “tax shift” that will increase their residential property taxes. State dollars will replace the commercial property tax dollars that used to go to schools, local governments and community colleges.
In other good economic news, Iowa start-ups have created 600 new jobs with the help of a state economic development program, a new study shows.
The “Iowa Demonstration Fund” helps small and medium-sized Iowa companies in advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology. Businesses with a high-growth potential get help to develop their products so that they can ultimately attract more private sector investment.
Between 2007 and 2012, the Demonstration Fund awarded $13 million to 101 companies. There has been a 24 percent return on investment, plus millions in tax revenue generated each year. Six hundred new jobs have been created in the development of construction machinery, medical devices, food products, animal vaccines, anti-cancer therapeutics, computer systems and software.
The Demonstration Fund is an innovative effort to ensure Iowa remains globally competitive in jobs, products and services.
Visit www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor for more information. To contact Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371 or at home at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taylor is vice-chair of the Agriculture Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Judiciary, Local Government and Transportation committees, as well as the Justice Systems Budget Subcommittee.