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The Capitol Report by Rep. Curt Hanson

Jun 20, 2013

Iowa Rep. Curt Hanson provided this weekly newsletter dated Wednesday.


Fixing a problem that’s vexed state leaders for three decades, the Iowa Legislature reached a bi-partisan tax agreement signed into law by the governor this week that will reduce taxes for Iowa small businesses and boost more families into the middle class.

First, over 209,000 Iowa families will benefit from a new middle class tax cut. We put $30 million back in the hands of those families by doubling the state’s earned income tax credit. It’s targeted to the families who need it most – hard working families often working more than two jobs but still struggling to make ends meet. It will help those families pay their bills and put more money back into local communities across Iowa.

Iowa small businesses will benefit from a new tax credit on the first $145,000 of the value of their property. In practical terms, it means about two thirds of Iowa businesses – most of which are small, Main Street businesses — will see their property taxes reduced by about 40 percent. That’s about the same rate that homeowners and farmers pay.

After severe inequities in Iowa’s property tax system have built up during the last 30 years, commercial property tax owners pay taxes on 100 percent of value while homeowners and farmers pay about 53 percent. Under the agreement reached this year, all commercial property taxes will drop 10 percent in two years with the state replacing the lost revenue to schools and other local entities. It also limits increases in property taxes for homeowners and farmers.

While it isn’t perfect, we worked together to craft a plan that is fiscally responsible and targeted to the Iowans who need it most – small businesses and hard working families.

On a more local level, I was alerted by neighbors that the Chronic Wasting Disease contaminated and quarantined hunting preserve near Drakesville had gates that were left open. I contacted the DNR and the Attorney General’s Office. Due to their quick action, the Drakesville Preserve, owned by a Cerro Gordo County resident, is once again under quarantine! CWD is currently only known to be found in the captive deer herd of Iowa deer breeders and hunting preserve owners. The hope is to contain the disease in the captive herd and prevent its spread to the wild herd. Should the wild deer herd become contaminated, there is a concern that the Southern Iowa hunting economy will suffer and forested property values will fall.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this or any other issues. Feel free to contact me anytime at curt.hanson@legis.iowa.gov or by phone at 641-919-2314.


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