Chad Airhart speaks at the Governor’s Weekly Press Conference

On March 11, 2013, Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart spoke at the Governor’s weekly press conference in support of Governor Branstad’s Commercial Property Tax Reform Plan. Here are Recorder Airhart’s comments:

“Thank you Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds for the invitation to join you here this morning. I want to start by commending the Governor & Lt. Governor for taking the initiative to get feedback from local elected officials on their plan for commercial property tax reform.

The Governor’s plan will promote economic development. Before I became Dallas County Recorder, I was the Executive Director of the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce.  I understand how small businesses think, and the challenges they face.  I know when we are recruiting small businesses; our commercial and industrial property tax system puts us at a great disadvantage compared to other states.  The Governor’s property tax reform plan will make us more competitive, and help us fulfill the Governor’s goal of creating 200,000 new jobs.

The Governor’s plan provides certainty.  It provides permanent tax relief for all classes of property.  This allows small businesses to plan and make investments to grow their operations – and in turn grow the economy.  The plan also provides certainty to local governments.  While future legislatures can not be fully bound, the Governor’s plan comes as close as we can by creating a standing appropriation for the backfill, and exempting it from any across the board cuts by future governors.

The Governor has listened to local government leaders, and shown true leadership by being willing to compromise. While Washington politicians continue to bicker over seemingly every little thing, Governor Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds stand in stark contrast.  Instead of merely digging into entrenched positions, the Governor and Lt. Governor offered an olive branch – they scaled back their proposal and offered to backfill the lost revenue.  It is time for local governments to meet them halfway.  I feel privileged to be one small part of that effort, and I encourage both Chambers to get behind this plan and pass it. I proudly endorse the Governor’s plan.”