Tax cut for some Iowal child care centers may total $19 million

DES MOINES — The Iowa House has approved the governor’s idea of reducing property taxes for some child care businesses, but it has yet to advance in the Iowa Senate.

Commercial child care centers are currently taxed as commercial property and the governor has proposed they be taxed at a far lower rate – just like residential property. Representative Brooke Boden, a Republican from Indianola, spoke briefly before the bill passed the House on a 94-1 vote.

“This bill will provide an opportunity for more much needed child care in our communities,” Boden said.

A Legislative Services Agency analysis indicates the bill could cut property taxes by a total of $19 million for the 1500 commercial child care centers in the state.

Republican Senator Dan Dawson of Council Bluffs, chairman of the Senate’s tax policy committee, said Iowa cities already are adjusting budgets based on significant property tax changes lawmakers approved last year, but Senate Republicans are “contemplating” the governor’s proposed property tax cut for child care centers.

“It’s kind of a unique idea,” Dawson said, “but we’ve got to make sure as we’re hearing a lot of local government input right now that anything is thoughtful on that front of property taxes because we said last year it would be multiple bills over multiple years and we need to give (cities) some predictability there, too.”

Dawson made his comments this weekend on “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS.