Branstad Delivers Condition of the State - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Branstad Delivers Condition of the State

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

The Condition of the State Address is a tradition, which sets the tone for the legislative session.

For this year, Gov. Terry Branstad, R-IA, marked education and commercial property tax reform as his top priorities.

Click HERE to read the full transcript.

"This is our opportunity," said Branstad.

He thinks if we change the system used to decide how much you pay and also cut the amount itself, Iowans will not have to pay millions in property taxes expected to go again next year.

"Half the increase will fall on Iowa homeowners," he said.  "I find that prospect terrifying."

Senate Democrats on the other hand, give the sense they find parts of the Governor's property tax reform plan just as frightening. 

They claim it does not help small businesses, or offer enough help to middle class families.

Branstad's fellow Republicans argue he's made changes from the last year, and it's a proposal they can support and work to find compromise

"He's changed his plan," said Iowa Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha.  "He's not dug in.  We are not dug in.  Let's find an opportunity.  That's what we're looking for."

If Branstad's property tax reform expands jobs like he wants it to, he says we will need workers to fill those positions.

He touched on most of the same main points of his expansive education plan announced Monday, which he hopes will lead to better careers for Iowans. 

"Through lower property and a more highly skilled workforce, in addition to our successful economic development efforts, we have an opportunity to stimulate this state's economy and provide our citizens with the high quality careers they truly deserve," Branstad said.

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