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Iowa House panel moves Branstad property tax plan

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad's plan to cut commercial property taxes in Iowa has won committee approval in the Republican-controlled House, but the bill faces an uncertain future as the Democratic-majority Senate favors an alternate proposal.

The House Ways and Means committee approved Branstad's plan Tuesday. The bill would gradually reduce taxable assessments for commercial property owners by 20 percent. House Republicans amended the plan to include a provision that the state would gradually start paying a larger portion of general school funding.

Senate Democrats have given committee-level approval to a plan that would gradually provide commercial property owners with a tax credit equivalent to a roughly 40 percent tax cut to their first $324,000 in assessed property value.

The bill will now go to the full House for a vote.