A closer look at the proposed commercial tax cuts in Iowa - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

A closer look at the proposed business property tax cuts in Iowa

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KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

In Southeast Iowa, city leaders warn they could end up taking more money out of your pockets to make up for a possible loss of tax revenue.

The concern centers around legislation now being considered by Iowa lawmakers that would cut property taxes for businesses.

Governor Branstad supports cutting commercial property taxes because he said it would help attract new businesses to Iowa and create jobs.

Rod Figge owns The Athletic Center on Main Street in Keokuk.

As a small business owner, Figge thinks the proposal to cut taxes for business property is a good idea.

"Anytime I think that we can save money and have a chance at reducing our prices to help, I think it would be awesome," said Figge.

Figge said he thinks the tax break would also attract entrepreneurs to the downtown area.

"If you walk up and down there is at least fifteen or twenty small buildings, so it would be nice to get those back full so everybody would be able to walk up and down Main. Kind of be like the old days," said Figge.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion said on the surface the plan sounds good, but it COULD hurt the city.

"A real hit to the cities, what it will do is take away from our property tax which is put into our general fund," said Marion.

And Marion said that general fund is used for basic city expenses.

"Our general fund pays seventy plus percent of police and fire salaries, pensions, medical," said Marion.  

Marion said in order to recoup money lost from a commercial tax cut, the city may have to look into things like eventually raising property taxes on local homeowners.

And some people think that's the wrong answer.

"It's not good for the area because this area is kind of depressed anyway with the loss of manufacturing jobs over the last fifteen-twenty years and you have a lot of seniors who live in the area and you only have so much money to work with," said Iowa resident Ron Miller. 

Branstad has unsuccessfully tried to raise business property taxes in previous years.

Again, this is still just a proposal from the Governor and lawmakers will assess the plan in the coming months.

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