ALMOST FINISHED: Property Tax & Education Reform

Lawmakers made a big push to pass some important legislation Wednesday.

The legislative session was scheduled to end May 3, but plenty of unfinished business has kept lawmakers at working without pay for nearly 3 weeks.

Both chambers can cross one main issue off their to-do list Wednesday afternoon they passed an education reform bill. It will increase starting teacher pay, and provide more one-on-one training and improved instruction. “It’s a give and take on both sides, but that being said, this bill has policy, initiatives, and funding which benefits just about everyone,” Rep. Ron Jorgensen said.

The bill now moves to Governor Branstad’s desk for signature.

The house skipped over property tax to discuss education reform, but are now looking at the senate’s version of the bill which they passed earlier Wednesday. The senate’s version would cut $500-million over the next nine years. Currently owners are taxed on 100-percent of the value of their property, but that will drop to 90-percent by 2015. Local governments will also only be able to raise residential property tax by 3-percent, the current cap is 4-percent.

The house has until midnight Wednesday to vote on property tax reform otherwise they will adjourn until Thursday.

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