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Iowa Senate panel approve property tax proposal

Published On: Feb 28 2013 02:54:34 PM CST

A plan from Senate Democrats to reduce commercial property taxes is moving forward, though Republican lawmakers and Gov. Terry Branstad have questioned the proposal.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would gradually reduce commercial property taxes by providing credits. Sen. Matt McCoy, of Des Moines, calls it a "Main Street tax cut."

Under the plan, commercial property owners would gradually get a tax credit equivalent to a roughly 40 percent tax cut on their first $324,000 in assessed property value. Democrats say their plan would help small businesses more than Branstad's plan.

The Democrats' plan would cost $250 million, and credits wouldn't be funded in weak budget years.

Branstad's $350 million plan gradually cuts taxable property assessments by 20 percent for all businesses.