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Knoxville Prepared As Legislature Debates Property Tax

Knoxville City Manager Harold Stewart says the city is prepared for any property tax reform that may be passed at the state legislature. Both Republicans and Democrats are again discussing commercial and industrial property tax reform in Des Moines this year after failing to reach a compromise last year. Stewart says it appears they are discussing a less significant rollback; it’s more likely they’ll rollback those taxes 20 percent this year than the 40 percent they were discussing last year. He explains that the utility franchise fees are coming in as expected and will be able to fill gaps in the budget if the state cuts property taxes. Until then, Stewart says the city will not balance the budget using those funds. He says instead, the Council will have those for one-time spending measures according to the revenue purpose statement that was passed with the franchise fees. That could include things like property tax relief, housing, and economic development.