Throughout my time in the Iowa Senate, I continually hear pleas from constituents to do something about rising property taxes from our fellow Iowans.
This is not just an Ankeny issue. As I have traveled across our great state, many Iowans shared the same concern that property taxes are growing at an unsustainable rate. The stories I hear are disheartening. Iowans ability to pay their tax bills far surpasses their income.
Research has demonstrated property taxes have increased nearly 100 percent since 2000, while the cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients rose 46 percent during the same time period.
The math is simple; many Iowans are struggling to keep up with rising tax burdens. They are literally being taxed out of their homes. This is just wrong, considering our fellow Iowans worked hard all their lives to buy a home, only to see this part of the American dream crushed by rising property taxes.
Something must be done, and soon. However, it is imperative the legislature take a holistic look at this because we understand these same property taxes fund vital services to our communities and 99 counties.
Last year, the Republican-led Senate and House sent a historic income tax reform bill to the Governor’s office, which she signed into law. This was not done on the spur of moment or without careful consideration. Senate Ways and Means Chairman Randy Feenstra spent countless months examining our tax code and laid out several options to pursue. Taking a hard look at property taxes deserves the same due diligence and careful thought.
Over the coming months, you will be hearing a lot about this topic and conversations being held at the Statehouse. Rest assured, Senate Republicans have the best interest of Iowans in mind. Policies we move forward are going to have a long-term benefit to Iowans and our state, not hinder the growth we are working hard to achieve.