That Property Tax Reform Bill was a work in progress for more than a decade. Wednesday night the Senate passed the bill, followed by the House on Thursday morning. Lawmakers say the biggest impact will be felt by small business owners.
Right now, business owners pay 100 percent of their property taxes. One local business owner in Des Moines, Darrin Morrison, said that’s about $7,300 a year.
“Just when you think you are starting to get ahead, it’s all gone again,” said Morrison who owns Fisher Body and Paint in Des Moines.
Morrison’s had his shop for 6 years, and for the first time, that big bill could be a little smaller. Morrison says the property tax reform bill would end up saving him about $700 dollars a year.
It’s not a huge amount, but Morrison said it’s a good start. “I think it`s a good start. When they reducing our taxing from 100 percent to 90 percent, as long as they don`t raise my property value that`s a good deal. Well, that`s yet to be seen I guess,” said Morrison.
Backers of the bill hope it’s enough to keep local businesses like Morrison’s in the state, and bring others in.
“We`re saying to thee companies that are in those neighboring states, things are going to keep getting better in Iowa. You might want to consider coming here,” said Governor Branstad.
That’s what Cheryl Hayes hopes at least: “I hope it brings more business to the area. I think that`s really important. Maybe more people are moving into the Ankeny area,” said Cheryl Hayes, with the Ankeny boutique called Funky Zebras, “At this point I don`t think it’s going to make us hire more employees, which is kind of sad, the way the economy is and everything, so we are just watching every day and budgeting and making sure we are watching every nickel.”
Right now Iowa has the third highest commercial property tax rates in the country, right behind Illinois and Minnesota. Governor Branstad says this is the first step towards changing that.