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Newscast 04.13.23: Iowa lawmakers look to hold down property taxes; Democrats want to keep mail-in cards for caucuses

A House committee unanimously advanced a bill today (Thursday) that would cap increases in Iowans’ property tax bills starting next year.

The proposal would prevent an individual’s residential or agricultural property tax bill from increasing by more than 3% per year. There would be an exception for property growth, like putting a major addition on a house or expanding a farm.

Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton is the bill’s sponsor.

This will give absolute predictability to the taxpayer saying that unless you’re doing new growth, that 3% cap is going to ensure that you know exactly what your bill is.” 

The bill would also reduce a property tax levy that funds schools, which would cut property taxes statewide by more than 200-million dollars per year. Kaufmann says the state would pay the difference.

Democrats say they support these changes but want to ensure the state keeps its commitment to continue filling the gap in school funding that would be left by the property tax cut.

The chair of the Iowa Democratic Party says Republican legislation requiring people to caucus in-person should not be necessary to keep the Iowa GOP first in the presidential nominating process.

The proposal would block Democrats from allowing people to caucus using mail-in cards.

New Hampshire’s top elections official has threatened to jump ahead of Iowa because a mail-in option would make a caucus too much like that state’s first in the nation primary.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart says she’s willing to work with Republicans, but stands by using mail-in cards to make caucuses more accessible.

We will now have the ability to hear from a police officer or firefighter that’s working a third shift. From a single parent who may not have access to child care. Or from those in the disability community who will be unable to leave their homes.

Earlier this year, national Democratic leaders replaced Iowa with South Carolina as the party’s first nominating state.

Iowa GOP lawmakers say the in-person caucusing bill is necessary to preserve their place with the first caucus on the Republican nominating calendar.

Governor Kim Reynolds today awarded $13.5 million in funding for apprenticeship programs to help expand health careers across Iowa. Iowa’s Health Careers Registered Apprenticeship (RA) Program, first introduced last year, has grown this year to support programs in even more high-demand occupations in health care.

The funding will award 21 RA programs, which are estimated to support a total of 1,463 apprentices. Awardees include hospitals, community colleges, school districts, and assisted living facilities.

Northwest Iowa sites selected for funding include: Charter Senior Living Sioux City, LLC of Sioux City, Whiting Commercial Development Corporation, Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital Association at Cherokee Regional Medical Center and Burgess Health Center in Onawa.

More than 50 business leaders from across Iowa gathered in the ballroom of the Warrior Hotel in downtown Sioux City Thursday morning to network with one another and hear about how to grow industry in the state, according to the Sioux City Journal.

Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham, addressed attendees during the first official day of a Leadership Iowa session. The visit is meant to showcase Sioux City and demonstrate how communities in the state are working to revitalize and recruit new residents.

Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation (ABI) runs the Leadership Iowa group.

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