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Senate Democrats Offer “Public Safety Protection Plan” Amendment to Property Tax Correction Legislation

February 1, 2023 Senate Staff Blog, News releases 0

Iowa Senate Democrats will offer an amendment today on Senate File 181, the residential property tax correction bill, to preserve public safety funding and other essential services for local governments. 

“Property taxpayers shouldn’t pay more for a mistake made by the Iowa Department of Revenue – but our police and firefighters shouldn’t get less either,” Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, said. “Our Public Safety Protection Plan amendment corrects the state’s error without compromising public safety or costing residential taxpayers more.”

Jochum is the ranking member on the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

At issue is a mistaken calculation made by the Iowa Department of Revenue, which will raise property taxes across the state unless the legislature acts now to fix it. That fix will come at a cost, however: local governments will receive less revenue than they have budgeted for, potentially forcing cuts to services. 

The Democratic amendment replaces the property tax revenue local governments will lose under the bill with state dollars on a one-time basis, filling the gap caused by the Department of Revenue error while protecting property owners from an inappropriate tax hike. 

The measure will ensure local governments have adequate time to plan for the reduced revenues in the future, while avoiding cuts to public safety and other essential services in the coming year.