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Senator Ragan to encourage local job creation through commercial property tax relief

DES MOINES ñ State Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City is working to provide $200 million in commercial property tax relief that will target small businesses. |DES MOINES ñ State Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City is working to provide $200 million in commercial property tax relief that will target small businesses.

Ragan said, “This job creation measure favors small businesses and will significantly reduce commercial and industrial property taxes by $200 million. Most of the benefit will go to the small business owners who are the biggest job creators in our communities.”

Under the proposal, a new Business Property Tax Relief Fund would receive at least $50 million annually beginning July 1, 2012. The permanent, on-going appropriation will grow by $50 million during each year the state’s revenue increases by at least 4 percent, until the $200 million goal is reached.

“During the first year, the commercial property tax credit would be worth approximately $600 for property valued at $30,000 and higher,” Ragan said. “For example, the owners of the Main Street building valued at $65,000 and a large nation-wide company’s commerical building valued at $300,000 would each receive a $600 credit. As the size of the fund grows, so will the amount of the credit.”

Ragan strongly supports reducing taxes on commercial property, which is taxed at 100 percent of its value.

“Over the years, Iowa’s local property tax system has become a serious barrier creating jobs and bringing new businesses to Iowa,” Ragan said. “The Senate plan does not reduce commercial property taxes by simply shifting the burden residential property taxes or by cutting local schools. State dollars will replace every property tax dollar that used to go to schools, local governments, and community colleges. That means the Senate plan does not force an increase in residential property taxes.”

The Senate is expected to vote on the proposal before the end of the session. |

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