Do you think taxpayers should have a seat at the table when important decisions are made concerning YOUR money?
Every year, local governments in central Iowa spend more than $2 billion to educate kids, maintain streets and keep us safe, just to name a few of the many important functions and services they provide. Our local officials do a good job in setting policy and providing oversight.
Yet, they are subject to intense pressure from lots of different groups for ever-more spending. To name a few examples:
- Their own employees, who push for higher wages and benefits and oppose efforts to find alternative delivery systems;
- Vendors who benefit by selling the latest equipment for firefighting, EMS, police protection, building design and construction, and the list goes on.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these groups. They are doing what makes sense to them. But who is speaking for the taxpayer? Taxpayers need their voices to be heard so that decisions are made with a balanced perspective. The Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa makes sure our elected officials hear the voice of the taxpayer, even as they respond to a myriad of special interests. It is only through the Association that we can make ourselves heard.
Businesses should consider their dues an investment in making sure that property taxes are reasonable, and that best value is obtained for every tax dollar. Consider:
- For every $1 million in assessed value, businesses are paying $50,000 in property taxes. Des Moines ranks # 3 nationally among the largest cities in each state in terms of its effective property tax rate. Further increases risk moving us up to #1, a distinction now held by Detroit.
- Each year over $2 billion is spent by local governments in central Iowa. While our local governments do a good job collaborating with each other, there is plenty more opportunity to share costs and avoid duplication. It is no one’s job to see that this happens – unless we do it.
Business members are welcome to have as many employees participate as possible. We are especially looking for people with strong business operations experience.
Individuals, whether joining as an individual or as a company representative, receive a variety of benefits from membership including:
- The satisfaction of making a personal difference in the decisions of your local governments;
- Staying informed about issues of community importance;
- Leadership development opportunities through building relationships with local officials and through exposure to the workings of City Councils, Boards of Education, and other local governments;
- Business development opportunities through ongoing contact with bankers, property lawyers, developers, real estate brokers and appraisers, public policy experts and others concerned with local property taxes;
- Professional development opportunities through leadership of committees or fulfilling Association leadership roles.
Retired elected officials are especially welcome, as their experience and insight is invaluable in the work of the association.