ADEL – In his first term as an Iowa State Senator, Jake Chapman, R-Adel, proudly cast his vote for the largest tax relief package in Iowa history. Governor Terry Branstad signed the tax relief bill into law on June 12, 2013. The plan includes a tax credit to help alleviate business owners’ rising property tax burden.
“Senate Republicans always have advocated for much-needed comprehensive tax reform,” Senator Chapman said. “As your voice at the Iowa Statehouse, I listened to my constituents and answered their call to help lower their tax burden. This historic legislation also does so much more. It enables small businesses to create jobs, and allows Iowa families to keep more of their hard-earned money.”
The first deadline to file a claim for the credit under the program is different than it will be for future years. The first claim must be filed no later than January 15, 2014, and will appear on property tax bills due September 30, 2014, and March 31, 2015. Applications for credit against 2013 property tax assessments must be received by the county or city assessor by January 15, 2014. Like the homestead tax credit, you will generally only need to apply the first time, Chapman said.
The new Business Property Tax Credit is only for certain commercial, industrial and railroad properties. The tax credit does not apply to residential or agriculturally classified property. The Legislative Services Agency estimates the first year tax credit amount will be approximately $523, Senator Chapman said.
The Iowa Department of Revenue has launched an effort to notify businesses of the implementation of the new Business Property Tax Credit. The department also has been working closely with local government officials to develop the tax credit process – starting with the taxpayer’s application to the actual adjustments to taxpayers’ property tax statements.
The department has created a page on its website devoted exclusively to 2013 commercial property tax reform. To learn more about the business tax credit and fill out an application, go to http://www.iowa.gov/tax/locgov/13PTReform.html.
Iowa is a leader in implementing and developing initiatives designed to improve water quality across our great state. In the past, these efforts have included soil conservation practices designed to remove nitrates and keep Iowa’s valuable soils on the land. Producers have used soil conservation cost share dollars to build buffer strips and terracing systems to improve water quality. They also increase monitoring and limit chemical applications to crops in order to make Iowa the number one producer of corn and soybeans in the United States.
Last session, the Legislature appropriated money to implement the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy to support watershed projects within high priority watersheds and established a goal of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the Gulf of Mexico. The targeted practices include improving on current practices and increasing conservation efforts through voluntary programs.
The process of reducing nutrients will not happen overnight. These voluntary efforts will take time to be planned with the rate of success designed to be long term. Processes must evolve as new technologies are discovered to continually allow Iowa’s water quality to improve – while maintaining prosperity and economic growth in the process.
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy was developed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University, working together to outline a strategy of voluntary efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point and non-point sources. Generally, point sources include wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities while non-point sources include farm fields and urban run-off. The goal of the program is to make water quality improvements in a cost-effective manner with scientific-based approaches.
Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds joined Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp this week to launch a new website, www.CleanWaterIowa.org, which serves as a valuable resource to help Iowans protect and improve water quality. The site has sections that concentrate on farm, residential, urban and industrial regions which provide science-based information on practices which can be implemented to improve water quality. The site includes descriptions of water quality practices and benefits that can be realized, as well as additional information to help Iowans work together to achieve goals outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Senate Republicans are 100 percent supportive of this innovative concept and will continue to look for ways to enhance voluntary water quality improvement projects. All Iowans support clean water and reasonable regulations that continue to make Iowa the national leader in agriculture, manufacturing and economic development.