Branstad, Dem and GOP Lawmakers to Witness PropTax Reform Bill Signing

Iowa’s Republican governor and legislators from both parties will gather later today (Wednesday) to witness the signing of legislation that cuts taxes for property owners and income taxpayers. 


The bill signing ceremony will be staged in Hiawatha, the home of Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, and Governor Terry Branstad says it’s a way of giving Paulsen “credit” for his work on the tax package.   The governor has invited Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal to the event and Gronstal’s been invited to make a brief speech for the occasion, too.

The bill includes a new tax credit for commercial property owners as well as a 10 percent roll-back of commercial property tax rates over the next two years. Property taxes on apartments and other “multi-residential” properties will eventually be cut in half. The legislation creates a new income tax credit that returns some of the state budget surplus to taxpayers. It’ll be worth about 60 dollars next year. The already-existing earned income tax credit will be increased, a financial boost for low-income taxpayers. Branstad has the authority to item veto portions of the bill, but he intends to approve “the entire bill.”

Branstad told reporters on Monday that Paulsen asked for the bill-signing ceremony to be staged in Hiawatha. Paulsen is considering a run for congress in 2014. Branstad is likely to seek reelection next year, too, and taking this event on the road “is what it is,” according to the governor.

 Gronstal — the top Democrat in the Iowa Senate — is considering a run for governor in 2014, so two candidates for governor may be sharing the limelight later today (Wednesday). The event will be staged early this afternoon at Hawkeye Ready-Mix, a company that provides concrete for homeowners, businesses and road construction crews.