Mike Gronstal, from Council Bluffs, has been the Senate Democratic Leader since 1997. First elected to office in 1982, Gronstal served one term in the Iowa House (1983-85), and is currently in his seventh term in the Senate. He is the State Democratic Leader in the Iowa Senate and has been a lifelong advocate for public education and smart politics.


We are fortunate to have Mike Gronstal represent us, our students, our schools and our profession. In the current political climate it is vital that you understand that we need YOU. Your time, your talent, and--eventually--your treasure will be needed to make sure that we reverse the trend of legislators who are willing to sell out our children for corporate tax cuts.

from the Desk of Senator Gronstal on True Commercial Property Tax Relief for Small Businesses

True commercial property tax relief for small and Main Street businesses

Commercial property owners are currently taxed on 100 percent of the value of their properties. That means they’re paying more than any other class of property owner. This can hurt when it comes to expanding local business and luring new business to Iowa.

I voted recently for a $200 million commercial property tax break to grow Iowa’s small businesses and create new economic opportunities.

Other proposals intended to solve Iowa’s commercial property tax problem simply shift the burden onto homeowners, increase residential property taxes, or cut funding to local schools and local services. The Senate-approved plan does none of that.

Senate File 522, approved overwhelmingly by the Senate on a bipartisan vote, will provide permanent property tax relief with no financial impact on local governments, schools, community colleges and other institutions that rely on property taxes.

When fully phased in, the property tax credit would be worth around $4,000 for commercial property valued at $200,000.

To fund this permanent tax break, we’ll create a Business Property Tax Relief Fund with an annual appropriation of $50 million beginning July 1, 2012. The appropriation will increase by an additional $50 million each year that state revenues grow by at least 4 percent to reach the permanent level of $200 million in tax credits per year.

Small business owners say the Senate plan will help level the playing field for them. And city and county officials have contacted me to say this tax break will help in their local economic growth efforts.

This bill has gone to the House for its consideration. Be sure to contact your state representative in the Iowa House and let them know that you support the real property tax relief provided in Senate File 522.


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