They Said It

January 19, 2012

<p style=”text-align: center;”><em> <a href=””>They Said It</a></em></p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>“I am proposing legislation that will encourage the formation of Employee Stock Option Plans to encourage the sale of these local businesses to the very employees who have made that company a profitable success. <em><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Our plan will encourage more Iowans to own a stake in their company</span></em>, to reap a greater share of the fruits of their own labor, and to help protect the quality of life in their local community.” – Gov. Branstad</p>
“<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>The governor deserves applause</span> for this impressive set of recommendations. The Messenger urges lawmakers to give these proposals careful consideration. It may be that some will need revision. It is clear, however, that this reform package has been carefully crafted. It provides an <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>excellent framework</span> for a <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>productive</span> education reform debate.” – <em>Fort Dodge Messenger</em>

“For more than three decades, lawmakers have been paying lip service to addressing the <strong><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>unfair </span></strong>way Iowa bases commercial property tax rates on 100 percent of assessed value while it bases residential and agricultural property tax rates on a much lesser percentage of valuation.” –<em>Iowa City Press-Citizen</em>
<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong>Branstad-Reynolds take commercial property tax plan on the road</strong></p>
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad brought his plan to dramatically cut commercial property taxes to the Quad-Cities on Tuesday, arguing small businesses are being hurt by the current system, and he accused local government critics of trying to preserve what he described as a looming windfall of property tax increase.

“It’s really the small startup businesses that we’re hurting,” he said.

Local governments are wary of the tax plan as they’re struggling this year to balance their budgets.

Branstad, however, said local officials see a big tax windfall coming their way because of increased productivity in the agriculture sector in recent years and they don’t want to lose it.

“They see this huge $2.3 billion increase in property taxes coming over the next eight years, and they don’t want to see anything prevent them from getting this windfall. I think that’s wrong. I don’t think that’s fair to the taxpayers,”

Currently, the full value of a commercial property is subject to property taxes. Only about a half of a residential property’s value is subject to property tax. That has led to complaints for years that businesses are treated inequitably.

<em>-The Quad City Times</em><em></em>