Property Tax Implementation Committee

Minutes from meeting of January 14, 2004

A meeting of the Property Tax Implementation Committee was called to order by Representative Jim Kurtenbach at 2:00 p.m. at the Iowa State Historical Building. All committee members except Cindy Eisenhauer, Randy Bauer, Larry Sigel, and Larry Countryman were present. Approximately 40 others also attended.

Committee members re-introduced themselves and the minutes from the September 3, 2003, meeting were approved as printed.

A major purpose of this meeting was to bring everyone up-to-date as to the activities of the various subcommittees. Reports were as follows:

Subcommittee # 1 – Counties / Cities

Representative Kurtenbach reported that nothing has been requested from the 4 test counties (Woodbury, Cerro Gordo, Warren, Dickinson) as yet, primarily because there has been no defined data set to compile and no budget established for compilation of such data.

Copies of letters from the three primary software vendors (to counties) were distributed to all committee members. These letters were in response to some data collection questions as presented by Kurtenbach. Subcommittee # 1 members in particular were asked to read these letters and provide feedback.

There was some disappointment expressed by committee members in that they perceived it would be difficult to get as much historical data as was desired.

Subcommittee # 2 – Broad Implementation Issues

Jim Kurtenbach stated that this subcommittee was looking at both short and long-term issues. Some of these were freezing the rollback, lowering the agricultural capitalization rate, examining levy limits and/or spending limits.

It was mentioned that this committee must look at what other funding sources would be feasible if property tax were not as heavily relied upon. Some discussion centered on the inequities in taxation being a problem, not just the total property tax dollars generated. There was also discussion at this time about Senate File 514 (2001) and whether it should be re-examined at the same time as HF 692.

Subcommittee # 3 – Property Tax Structure

Senator Sievers reported that this subcommittee had discussed issues such as mental health and education. There was some consensus in the subcommittee that these items should be funded to a greater extent by the state and to a lesser extent by property tax.

Subcommittee # 4 – Definitions

This group focused on what classes or categories of property should be utilized under a reformed system. Among those possibilities are residential, commercial / industrial, agricultural, mobile home parks, and recreation or green space.

Additional items discussed included the following:

It was mentioned that the full committee should plan to meet for awhile rather than in subcommittees. Subcommittee # 1 may be an exception to this since much dialogue needs to be accomplished in this area.

It was decided that the full committee will meet again on Thursday afternoon, February 5th, at 2:00 p.m. at a site to be determined. Meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.