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Legislators Grilled on Alleged Anti Home Rule Measures

The state has begun the process of making changes to how city and county governments can levy and tax their residents. Some of these changes take away funding which counties and cities are dependent on. In a recent legislative forum in Forest City, Winnebago County Auditor Karla Weiss outlined what these new legislative measures would do such as Senate File 1125.

The means by which both the counties and the cities would generate revenues would be changed. Legislators countered that they had heard that local revenue generation such as taxes and levies were too high. This was symptomatic throughout the state which is why the measures are being considered in both the Iowa House and Senate.

Weiss felt that the Iowa Legislature should take into consideration the Home Rule concept and give local governments, local control.

State Senator Dave Rowley, whose district encompasses Winnebago County along with counties to the east and west, explained that while he respects the need to find revenue sources, he doesn’t think that these measures take away local control.

The state measures effectively set cap levels of revenue generation streams such as levies and income tax for both cities and counties.

The state recently ordered cities and counties to recalculate their valuations on properties due to a mistake at the state level. This forced local governments at both the city and county level to discard budgets which had been worked on for nearly three months in favor of reduced budgets which had to be arrived at in less than three weeks.



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