From the Iowa State Association of Counties
This year’s state budget raises a critical issue that affects all Iowans. Will the state maintain its backfill of lost property tax dollars that helps to provide for safe and desirable communities through law enforcement, mental health and disability services, parks, road maintenance and repair, and many other important local government services?
“Iowa’s county governments are essential to the daily lives of Iowans,” said ISAC President and Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek. “The county you live in is responsible for many of the services Iowans need – keeping our communities safe, providing services to our most vulnerable citizens, fixing potholes, plowing snow, and offering parks to enjoy with your family and friends.”
In 2013, Iowa state law was changed resulting in a reduction in the tax revenue that local governments receive from commercial and industrial properties. This loss of revenue is paid back to local
governments by the state with funds called the backfill. “It’s essential to Iowa county governments that the backfill remains intact and whole,” ISAC Executive Director Bill Peterson said. “Without these funds, many counties could be faced with a tough choice: raise property taxes on their residents or cut services on which they depend.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds included full funding of the backfill in her proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 that was released today. ISAC commends her for recognizing the importance of county services and keeping property taxes low. The Iowa Legislature should follow Governor Reynolds’ lead and fully
fund the backfill.
ISAC urges Iowans to contact their legislators to let them know that their community needs the backfill.
Contact information for your legislators and other advocacy materials are available at www.iowacounties.org.