The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 24, 2013

Lawmakers: We work together for change


“Both parties wanted it,” Hanson said, “and both parties thought it needed to be done. Both sides in the past have proposed bills that have not passed. What we arrived at this time is different than either side proposed.”

“There is a definite push to recognize that the commercial side of property tax is [unfair],” Klein said. “When Iowa is only second to New York [in tax rate on business], that’s a problem.”

And not just for big companies. Local businesses pay that same high rate. And in some cases, Klein said, so do everyday Iowans. While visiting with senior citizens, he found that if their locally owned, long-term care facility was paying high business taxes, those costs were passed along to residents. Renters in apartments, too, see higher rent costs for the same reason. And that’s in addition, he said, to “being more fair for our business community.”

“With that issue especially, the only way you’re going to get anywhere is with compromise,” Hanson said. “That’s what Iowans send us up there to do.”

“I was proud to be able to vote on something I had campaigned on for years,” Klein said. “Iowans can see this is Des Moines, not Washington. We still have the ability to reach a compromise and get things done for the good of Iowans.”

All three legislators said it seemed as though lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had more in common than they did differences. And, they said, both sides can live with Medicaid expansion, education reform and property tax relief.

To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark.

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