Closing in on end of session

We are closing in on four weeks left in the scheduled 2013 legislative session. When the 85th General Assembly began, House Republicans committed to remaining focused on ways to make Iowa strong. We laid out a plan to create certainty with balanced budgets, promote job creation through tax relief and reform, and build strong schools and communities.

The House has passed the Transportation, Administration and Regulation, Block Grants, and Education budget bills and sent them to the Senate. One bill remains – Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure. We are still awaiting action from the Senate on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Economic Development, Health and Human Services, Justice Systems, Judicial Branch and Standings.

As budget bills continue moving through the House, Republicans will stick to the principles:

We will not spend more money than the state takes in;

We will not use one-time money to pay for on-going expenses;

We will not intentionally underfund programs to balance the state’s budget;

We will return unused tax dollars to Iowa’s taxpayers.

Iowa has the third highest commercial property taxes in the nation and the 16th highest residential property taxes in the nation. Iowans have been very clear that want property tax reform and relief this year at the statehouse. House Republicans remain committed to property tax relief for all classifications of property. While there is a willingness to put all ideas on the table, Republicans have stressed that reform must be meaningful, inclusive and reliable because taxpayers need relief they can count on.

As we close week 12, the House has acted on our property tax relief and reform bill. This plan:

Holds harmless property taxpayers anytime the state sets allowable growth funding.

Eliminates additional property tax levies associated with allowable growth funding, reducing the share of money that is put on the backs of Iowa property taxpayers. On average, this would save Iowa taxpayers $2.70 per $1,000 in property valuation when fully implemented.

Continues to move through the House.

Secondly, the House sent the Senate a bill to cut income taxes. This plan:

Gives Iowans a choice when paying their income taxes, either the current system or a 4.5 percent flat tax with zero deductions or credits. No one will pay higher income taxes under this plan.

Makes Iowa’s tax system simpler, flatter, and fairer.

Raises the filing threshold so that the first $6,235 (or $12,450 for married couple) would not be taxed.

Passed the House awaiting Senate action.

Lastly, the House fully funds the property tax credits in the budget. Instead of making empty promises to Iowa taxpayers, House Republicans are fulfilling commitments that have been made to them. Continues to move through the House.

Rep. Bacon may be reached via email at: