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We Need the Property Assessment Appeals Board

There has been a lot of buzz following the Super Bowl about the moving ad featuring Paul Harvey’s “Farmer” commercial. To my family, neighbors, friends and the thousands of Iowans who support their families through agriculture, let me thank you for helping make Iowa such a great place to live.

There were a lot of great commercials, and it truly was an exciting game. This year’s Super Bowl had special meaning for a lot of my neighbors in Wayne County. I want to personally congratulate former Wayne Community High School and Drake University football standout and Baltimore Ravens tight end coach Wade Harman on being a Super Bowl Champion.

The Super Bowl taught us a couple important lessons. When we work together, it is possible to accomplish great things; and despite the circumstances, never give up when facing adversity.

I pledge to you not to give up on my fight to reduce the tax burden on all Iowans. Though it wasn’t as exciting as this year’s Super Bowl finish, Iowa taxpayers won a small victory this week in the Iowa Senate. We came together as an entire body to unanimously vote in favor of a bill that would help every Iowa taxpayer by coupling the Iowa tax laws with the federal tax laws.

Proceeding in a timely fashion on this bill was important to Iowans. I was proud to cast my support for the bill, and will continue to fight for opportunities to provide tax relief for hard-working Iowans. It is our job at the Statehouse to reduce the tax burden and enable citizens to keep more of their hard-earned money.

One topic that the entire Senate does not agree upon is the importance of the Property Assessment Appeals Board. Some in the Senate would like to see the board end. The board is a vital resource created for the sole purpose of establishing a consistent, fair and equitable property assessment appeal process. This board is set to end on July 1, 2013, unless the Legislature passes legislation to keep it intact. Allowing the board to sunset would be a disservice to Iowans.

The Property Assessment Appeals Board offers Iowans a taxpayer-friendly recourse to appeal their property assessments. Taking that recourse away is completely unacceptable. Without the board in place, appealing property tax assessments could become a lengthy and costly process. Having the board in place, with experts on the panel, gives taxpayers an opportunity to have their voices heard. Dissolving the board would result in Iowans taking their appeals to court, which is an expensive and complicated route.

Removing this board from existence is the wrong thing for our state. I am focused on providing property tax relief and reform for Iowans and Iowa businesses. It also is important that Iowans are able to have their voices heard, especially when it impacts their family budgets, taxes and property assessments.

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