Iowa Governor Terry Branstad stopped in Fort Madison Tuesday to discuss his plan to lower the state's property taxes.
Dozens of citizens showed up to hear Branstad present his plan and ask questions. The governor would like to reduce residential, commercial, and agricultural property taxes by 40 percent over the next eight years.
"We want to grow the Iowa economy. We think this will help us create jobs so we think this is really important and we need to help the people convince their legislatures they should not go home with out this action this year," Branstad said.The bill has made it through the House and will be voted on in the Senate.
Governor Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds held a "town meeting" to gain support for the Branstad-Reynolds plan for permanent property tax relief. Branstad hopes the plan will encourage the economic growth needed to create more jobs.
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds explained that business are unable to expand because of the burden of property tax. She believes the burden is also passed down to smaller and local businesses who rent because property owners are forced to pass down the costs of property taxes.
"We have a goal of 200,000 new jobs of raising family incomes by 25 percent, but we're going to have to work hard to do this and this will help us," Branstad said.
Critics of the plan are concerned at where the state may have to make cuts in order to keep Branstad's promise of reimbursing local government for revenue lost from the property tax cuts.
Branstad plans to do this "... by restoring predictability and reliability to state funding, and spending considerably less than we're taking in, we have that money built into the budget."
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Jason Huffman, who has been working with local companies to create vocational partnerships for schools, is confident that this will only help create more jobs for vocational training students to fill.
"Oh absolutely, we're already seeing a high demand in vocational students right now," Huffman said.
This plan helps address some of the governors four major goals for the state.