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On behalf of The Iowa League of Cities, I would like to thank Gov. Reynolds for fully funding the Commercial and Industrial Property Tax Replacement Claims, also known as the “backfill” in the governor’s budget recommendations for fiscal year 2019. The backfill dollars are vital to the stabilization of local government budgets across the state and represent a state partnership and commitment to help keep property taxes for the citizens of Iowa stable. For the same reasons, we encourage the legislature to support the backfill.

I would also commend and thank Gov. Reynolds on her announcement of a new initiative that will focus on rural Iowa and meeting the needs of small communities across our state. Iowa has strong and thriving metropolitan areas and large cities, but the majority of our state is made up of small communities spread across a rural landscape.

More than 500 of Iowa’s 943 cities are fewer than 500 in population. These cities have unique characteristics and needs, and we can ill afford to let them lag economically. We look forward to continuing these efforts with the governor, lieutenant governor, and both chambers of the Legislature by working with the leaders and members of the community in cities across the state. Together we can identify and institute policies that will grow and strengthen our communities across Iowa by investing in community and economic development and facilitating the rollout of high-speed broadband to all areas of the state.

Alan Kemp, Des Moines

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