It would be nice to have $400 million in the bank and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad knows just what to do with the state's surplus. Branstad came to Council Bluffs Thursday to give western Iowa residents a Condition of the State briefing and take their questions.
Though touching on several points from jobs to education, it's property tax relief he's stressing. By funding school and local governments with the state's surplus, then those groups don't have to lean so hard on property owners.
“We have a very bold and focused action plan for this session of the Legislature. First is job creation and expanding opportunities for Iowa families, especially by reducing the property tax burden for all classes of property."
On education, Gov. Branstad wants to push starting salaries for teachers from $28,000 to $35,000 a year. He also wants to implement an annual assessment of educators to make sure they make the grade.
He's aware Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is pushing a plan to eliminate income and corporate taxes by eliminated billions in sales tax exemptions.
"I'm trying to reduce the property tax," said Branstad. "Property taxes are the most unfair and most unpopular tax we've got. So each state has different circumstances. South Dakota has no corporate or income tax. We're all competing with each other."