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Senator Kevin Alons (April 17, 2023)

The Alons Archive by Senator Kevin Alons

As we near the “official” end of the legislative session April 28, I have had many conversations with constituents about the property valuation notices that have been received this month. My own property valuation went up around 30%, which was a surprisingly large amount, but not entirely unexpected with the inflation we are seeing everywhere. Obviously the concern for citizens is the expectation of a large increase in property tax next year (and beyond), especially worrisome for those on a limited or fixed income.The general increases in assessed value of your property do follow state law that requires valuations to accurately reflect market conditions – which is the reality of out-of-control spending and unconstitutional policies by our federal government restricting people and businesses during and after the Covid pandemic. Iowa leadership pivoted quickly to freedom, growth and fiscal spending restraint, which has resulted in lower income taxes for Iowa – which couldn’t come at a better time, but we are definitely paying a price for fiscal insanity at the national level.Please recognize that inflation has made things more challenging for all of us, including county and city governments, but your taxes certainly do not have to increase at the same level as your assessment. Any increases will be driven by school, city or county spending and not your property’s value. If your property valuation rose to a level that seems inconsistent with real market value, you should certainly appeal your valuation, but where the levy is set will ultimately determine how much your taxes increase – and that is determined by spending.A bill is being discussed that will simplify and consolidate multiple levies used for taxation and place limits on government spending/property tax growth. Just like households, the key to fiscal success is limited spending, not ever increasing revenue. I am thankful we have conservative leadership in the counties and cities in my Senate district and am hopeful they will find ways to hold the line on spending and appropriately limit growth to property taxes.One significant event that happened at the Capitol last week was in the Supreme Court – oral arguments were heard regarding the Heartbeat Law in Iowa. This law was passed and signed in 2018 and was immediately and unconstitutionally blocked by the courts and never enforced. These oral arguments were the start of an expedited review of this case given the recent changes that properly returned decisions about abortion to the states. I look forward to the day that the will of the people of Iowa and this constitutional law is restored.The Senate has been focused on the confirmation process for the many nominees for a variety of commissions and agencies across the state, and I look forward to more discussions and debate concerning the budget and several important bills that remain to be passed this year.

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