Poll Shows Iowans Favor Property Tax Relief For All, Even at Cost to Local Governments

February 14, 2012

Contact:  Christopher Rants 712-490-8742

christopher@legacyfoundation.us

(DES MOINES)- A poll of Iowans between February 6 and 7, conducted for the Legacy Foundation, reveals that of the three property tax relief plans being considered in the general assembly, Iowans favor a proposal to provide a property tax cut for homeowners and businesses even if city and county governments see their tax collections shrink by a more than 2 to 1 margin over competing proposals that limit tax relief to businesses but protect local governments from revenue losses.

All demographic groups, including partisan affiliation, supported the proposal that provides property tax relief to homeowners and businesses even if city and county governments see their tax collections shrink.  Registered Democrats, 47.6% to 26.2%, preferred it compared to a proposal that provides a tax credit to small businesses while protecting local government revenues.  No Party voters preferred it 52.2% to 14%.

Support for a proposal to provide property tax relief to small and large businesses, but none to homeowners was viewed only slightly more favorably than the tax credit for small business proposal.

After describing each of the three competing proposals, each proposal was ranked on a scale of 1 being a very bad idea to 10 being an excellent idea.  While all were viewed favorably, the broad based cut fared the best.  The proposals were then compared against each other with the broad based cut gaining the majority of support.

If you had to pick one property tax proposal that would best help the State of Iowa improve its economy, would you choose proposal one which provides a property tax cut for all businesses and homeowners, but will be phased in over time, OR the second proposal which provides a property tax cut to all business owners, but no relief to homeowners, but will slow the rate of property tax growth on homeowners OR the third proposal which provides a tax credit to only small businesses no tax relief to homeowners, agriculture land or large businesses?

Proposal 1…………………….308 51.3%
Proposal 2…………………….121 20.2%
Proposal 3…………………….109 18.2%
Undecided…………………….62 10.3%

The first proposal provides a property tax cut for homeowners and businesses. Small businesses get their property tax cut first, and over a number of years larger businesses will receive their property tax cut. City and county governments will likely see their tax collections shrink under this plan.

Supporters say this is the only plan that gives everyone a property tax cut instead of targeting certain groups and it will grow our economy. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a very bad idea and 10 being an excellent idea, what do you think?

1………………………………………………………………………………45 7.5% 2………………………………………………………………………………10 1.7% 3………………………………………………………………………………32 5.3% 4………………………………………………………………………………31 5.2% 5…………………………………………………………………………….208 34.7% 6………………………………………………………………………………54 9.0% 7………………………………………………………………………………63 10.5% 8………………………………………………………………………………68 11.3% 9………………………………………………………………………………10 1.7% 10…………………………………………………………………………….79 13.2%

The second proposal provides a property tax cut to business owners – both large and small. It does not provide any property tax relief to homeowners, however it does slow the rate of tax increases on homes. Supporters say this plan gives businesses the best chance to grow and put Iowans back to work.

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a very bad idea and 10 being an excellent idea, what do you think?

1………………………………………………………………………………81 13.5% 2………………………………………………………………………………51 8.5% 3………………………………………………………………………………45 7.5% 4………………………………………………………………………………46 7.7% 5…………………………………………………………………………….156 26.0% 6………………………………………………………………………………52 8.7% 7………………………………………………………………………………51 8.5% 8………………………………………………………………………………64 10.7% 9………………………………………………………………………………11 1.8% 10…………………………………………………………………………….43 7.2%

The third proposal provides a tax credit to small businesses. It does not provide any property tax relief to homeowners, agriculture land, or large businesses. Supporters say this plan allows cities and counties to maintain important services while also providing a boost to small businesses.

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a very bad idea and 10 being an excellent idea, what do you think?

1………………………………………………………………………………99 16.5% 2………………………………………………………………………………46 7.7% 3………………………………………………………………………………70 11.7% 4………………………………………………………………………………54 9.0% 5…………………………………………………………………………….147 24.5% 6………………………………………………………………………………29 4.8% 7………………………………………………………………………………58 9.7%
8………………………………………………………………………………49 8.2%
9………………………………………………………………………………15 2.5%
10…………………………………………………………………………….33 5.5%

Full cross tabs on the questions and demographics may be downloaded at here.

The Legacy Foundation, a 501c3, was organized to educate the general public about concepts that advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited and accountable government.  The Foundation also engages in independent, non-partisan research on public policy matters and initiatives.  It does not support or endorse candidates for election.  The Legacy Foundation was founded by Christopher Rants, a former legislator from Sioux City, who served as Speaker of the House from 2003 through 2006.

This is the first in a series of initiatives the Legacy Foundation will make in 2012 to educate the general public about policy debates pending before the Iowa Legislature.

The survey was conducted by Victory Enterprises, Inc. of Davenport, Iowa.  Interviews were conducted by live operator.  The survey consists of interviews from 600 likely voters in Iowa.  Calls were completed on February 6-7, 2012.  The margin of error is +/- 4.0% with a 95% confidence level.  The survey was balanced by party, age, gender and geography.  Registered Democrats made up 35% of the respondents; Republicans 34% and No-Party voters comprised 31%.

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About the Legacy Foundation

The Legacy Foundation was organized to educate the general public about concepts that advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited and accountable government. The Foundation also engages in independent, non-partisan research on public policy matters and initiatives.

Address: 600 Fourth Street, Suite 360, Sioux City IA 51101

The Legacy Foundation is a non-partisan organization recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. THis organization does not support or endorse candidates for election. Contributions or gifts to The Legacy Foundation are tax-deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes to the fullest extent permitted by law. Donors do not receive any goods or services in exchange for any port of this contribution.