The Rozenboom Report – April 7th, 2023

by Senator Ken Rozenboom
Following the second major legislative deadline for bills last week, during week thirteen we worked with the House on compromises and where we can find agreement on legislation. This week Governor Reynolds signed SF 514, the state government alignment and reorganization bill. This bill was the first major reorganization of Iowa state government in 40 years. Although this bill was long and had many moving parts, the governor’s concept was pretty simple. If the federal government can operate on with 13 cabinet level directors, certainly the State of Iowa can operate on 16 cabinet-level directors. The bill seeks to increase efficiencies and the cost savings over the next four years estimated by the governor’s office to be over $200 million.

The Senate started the appropriations process this week, moving several budget bills out of subcommittee and committee. These bills generally addressed the budget areas but left many details to be filled in after the Senate and House negotiate a budget agreement. Senate Republicans and Governor Reynolds have set a budget target of $8.486 billion. The House has set a target about $95 million higher than the governor and the Senate, so now we need to negotiate this very significant difference.

The $8.486 billion budget Senate Republicans proposed represents a sustainable increase in spending for education and public safety, while also keeping our promise for tax relief for hardworking Iowans. Iowa’s income tax rates have decreased from 8.98% to 6% this year in addition to the elimination of the tax on retirement income. By 2026 the income tax rate will be a flat 3.9%. This tax relief has been made possible because of budgets just like the one proposed this year. Disciplined spending ensures promises to K-12 education are kept, promises to public safety are kept, and promises to taxpayers are kept.

After the series of storms starting March 31, Governor Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for a number of counties that experienced severe weather. These counties include Appanoose, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Delaware, Des Moines, Dubuque, Grundy, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Keokuk, Linn, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Wapello, Warren, and Washington. The signing of the disaster proclamation means qualifying residents can apply for the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program and the Disaster Case Management Program. These grants can help with home or car repairs, replacing clothing or food, temporary housing expenses, and disaster-related hardships and injuries. More information on these programs is available at and

Governor Reynolds also signed a disaster emergency proclamation, easing restrictions on the transportation of materials related to disaster response and repairs. This will be in effect until May 1, 2023. We’re thinking about all those affected by the storms. Please reach out if you have any questions or are looking for assistance.

We continue to receive questions and concerns from taxpayers all over the state as county assessors send out updated property tax assessments to Iowans. Taxpayers from Sioux City to Davenport are concerned about how the rise in assessments will impact their property tax bill. KWWL reported some viewers said they received 50% to 60% jumps in their assessments. Home assessments in the Des Moines area are reportedly up by record amounts. WalletHub recently released 2023’s Tax Burden By State, putting Iowa among the worst states for property tax burdens. The rapid rise in property tax assessments is a concern we have heard about since last spring, and we’ve heard even more about over the last couple weeks.

I do ask you to keep in mind that Iowa law requires the state to apply the residential rollback, which will limit the statewide taxable value (as opposed to the actual assessment value) to growth of 3%.

We have heard these concerns, and it is our primary focus as we head into these last scheduled weeks of the legislative session. Several proposals in the legislature to address these concerns and alleviate the burdens on Iowa property taxpayers are being considered in both chambers. Senate Republicans are focused on getting to the core of the issue by simplifying and consolidating the number of levies used by local governments, limiting levies that seem open-ended for additional spending, reinstating hard levy caps, providing a series of controls to protect taxpayers, and eliminating loopholes abused by local governments to exceed limits that had been set by law. We are asking local governments to follow the Senate’s example. We are simply asking local governments to control spending, invest in important priorities, and give taxpayer money back to those who earned it. Senate Republicans have used these principles to guide us the last several years and it has put us to the strong fiscal place we are today.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is encouraging Iowans who receive a ‘No Activity’ notice from his office in the mail to respond to it quickly. Registered voters who did not participate in the 2022 general election have been made inactive and will receive a notice in the mail to confirm their residential address. Those who do not respond will remain as an ‘inactive’ status.

Registered voters made inactive through the list maintenance process can return themselves to active status by requesting an absentee ballot, voting in an election, submitting a new registration, or updating their voter registration prior to the end of 2026 general election cycle.

Iowans who receive the mailing should check the appropriate box, sign their name, and return the postcard in the mail. Postage is pre-paid, so there’s no need to attach a stamp. If the voter no longer lives at the address, the current resident may discard the mailing.

To check your voter registration status, visit

Posted by on Apr 8 2023. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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