|Senate File 192 is moving through legislature as we speak. Funding for K-12 education is a priority of Republicans. Each year, roughly $3.8 billion in funding is allotted for K-12 funding. With local taxes combined and other sources, Iowa taxpayers will spend $8.4 billion on education this year alone. The money approved in SF 192 will dedicate an additional $107 million, with a state average of $17,068 per student. Since Republicans took majority in 2017, over half billion in increased funding has gone towards education. When deciding upon the amount of additional funding to be given to K-12 funding, Republicans focus on providing an amount sufficient enough to meet their needs, while also ensuring it is a sustainable part of the entire State’s budget.
Another important bill that passed by the Senate on Wednesday was SF 181. An error at the Dept. of Revenue had the possibility to lead to a tax increase of as much as $120 million for Iowa homeowners. SF 181 fixes this error and protects the property taxpayer. Local governments including cities, schools, and counties must hold public hearings and certify their budgets. Due to the error within the Dept. of Revenue, SF 181 extends deadlines for local governments to make changes to their budgets while still maintaining necessary transparency for taxpayers in the budgeting process. It is now advancing to the Iowa House for consideration.
The legislature has implemented many taxpayer-friendly policies with the end goal of lowering property taxes. A few local governments are displeased with the corrections made in SF 181 and claim it will require them to raise taxes. The interesting aspect of this, is that homeowners were faced with a possible HUGE tax increase prior to the passing of this bill. A few local governments are objecting to being forced to raise the levy rate if they could not gather the additional revenue generated by increased assessments. SF 181 hinders their ability to take higher property tax payments with the same levy rate and quickly rising assessments, a result from none other than failed Biden economic policies.
Obviously, the issues contained within SF 181 are complex. Later this session, Republicans in the Senate will reveal a plan to simplify the number of levies, improve transparency of how homeowners are being taxed on their property, and responsibly limit the cost of local government. Senate Republicans have a lot in store for the remainder of this session, and will continue to save Iowa taxpayers money.
I look forward to the next few weeks where things will really begin to speed up. It is a very exciting (and busy) time of year, where I believe a lot will be accomplished. If you happen to find yourself at the Capitol, please reach out and hopefully I can make time to speak with you. Hearing from constituents is very important to me and I value your opinion. If you intend to speak about an upcoming bill, I ask that you read the bill, then share with me your thoughts on how it could be improved or what you like with it. Thank you for your continued support!