Sioux City officials worry state will leave them with tax burden - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City officials worry state will leave them with tax burden

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Tough talk Tuesday from Sioux City officials on a state property tax proposal.

"If there is significant change as proposed, it would directly impact police and fire," warned Sioux City City Manager Paul Eckert.

Lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to overhaul the system earlier this year. 

Cities and counties cried fowl.  Many are worried that in trying to reduce commercial taxes to boost business, they'll shift the burden to homeowners.   

"If we're doing anything with property tax reform this year, on the commercial side, we have to be cognoscente of the fact that it's important that the shift doesn't happen from commercial rates to homeowners rates," said Sioux City Representiatve David Dawson, a Democrat.

"We're not competitive with property taxes here in the state.  Commercial property taxes are the second highest in the country, and residential is 16th highest, so it's an issue that has to be addressed," said Republican State Representative Chuck Soderberg.

Local leaders say if commercial and residential property taxes are cut without the state backfilling the local revenue loss, cities and counties won't have enough money to operate.

"Don't leave the cities holding the bag, which would then deplete our ability to provide essential services," said Eckert.

Property tax reform is a top priority for the governor and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to agree that reform is needed.  They've been stuck on how to move forward.

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