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Commercial property tax reform still alive

Legislators hold forum Friday

April 14, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Though it appears the state legislators are spinning their wheels, there appears to be some signs of conclusion to state bills on the horizon.

Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, and Rep. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden, gave an update on the current session at the Marshalltown Chamber forum Friday.

Smith feels commercial property tax reform will get done this session, which would be a bill to relieve taxes especially for small businesses.

Article Photos

Rep. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden, talks during a legislative forum at Fisher Community Center Friday. Also pictured are Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, left, and Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown.

"As long as we get to something so we are not shifting property taxes to residential, I'm all for it," Sodders said. "Let's do it."

The school start date issue has been a hot topic in Des Moines with the House. Smith voted in favor of setting a concrete date in which schools can't start before and said the bill noted school can start between Aug. 22 and 28. He did indicate his preference would be local control for schools despite voting in favor of the bill.

It was the first local forum since the powder scare at the House and Smith said it served as a good wake-up call for legislators on how to handle it.

"We were a little slow in implementing the proper procedures," Smith said.

With other issues such as the budget, education reform and mental health reform still in the works, the legislators feel the original session ending date of April 17 will not be met.

"We all want to get the state's work done," Sweeney said.

This was the last Marshalltown forum for Sweeney, who will campaign in a new area due to redistricting which does not include Marshall County.

"Everybody here in Marshall County have made me feel warmed and welcome," Sweeney said.



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