Siouxland Chamber lobbies for lower property taxes in Des Moines - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Siouxland Chamber lobbies for lower property taxes in Des Moines

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© "We want to see some relief for commercial and industrial. It's always been a little lopsided that way. Those are the people that create jobs in the state," said Chamber Vice President Barbara Sloniker. © "We want to see some relief for commercial and industrial. It's always been a little lopsided that way. Those are the people that create jobs in the state," said Chamber Vice President Barbara Sloniker.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

The Siouxland Chamber was looking for lower property taxes in its annual lobbying trip to Des Moines, Wednesday.

Like years past, the annual group was made up of business heads, Sioux City leaders, and more. Their goal, push Iowa policy makers into some Sioux-centric change.

"Meeting with not only our legislative representatives, but the legislative leadership through out the state of Iowa, to share with them our priorities, our concerns. That's the democratic process. We're going to continue to make this trip on an annual basis," said Chamber President Chris McGowan.

This year, the group had a lot to fight for. One of their biggest goals, lower property taxes to promote a better business climate.

"We want to see some relief for commercial and industrial. It's always been a little lopsided that way. Those are the people that create jobs in the state," said Chamber Vice President Barbara Sloniker.

Governor Terry Branstad agrees.

"Unfortunately, Iowa has among the highest commercial property taxes in the country," said the governor.

For three years the governor says he's been working on a plan that would reduce commercial and industrial property taxes, plus repay local governments their lost money. Branstad says the policy could be put in place soon.

"I think it could be done this year. We obviously need to get it through the House as well as the Senate. I'm very optimistic in the House. We're going to continue to work with Senate Democrats to get the support we need to get it approved," said the Republican.

Lobbyists were also looking for a rework of the funding system for K-12 education, help curtailing rising health care costs, and a quick completion of the four lane renovation of Highway 20. But that's something Iowa officials say could be tough to come by.

"The challenge has been the funding at times. There's probably $300 million worth of work left. That's a lot of dollars for the program," said Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino.

Chamber officials couldn't give an exact number, but they say the trip to the capitol is a decades-old tradition, one they intend to keep.

The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce was planning to head to Des Moines two weeks ago, but couldn't.  A winter storm iced the city.  So, the Chamber rescheduled. 

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