Presentation on theme: "ISAC Top Legislative Priorities for the 2015 Session ISAC Legislative Team."— Presentation transcript:
ISAC Top Legislative Priorities for the 2015 Session ISAC Legislative Team
Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) Chaired by ISAC Second Vice President 30 members (two from each affiliate) Develop legislative objectives for ISAC’s legislative team to pursue for the upcoming session Meet in August and September to develop legislative platform
Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) Assessors: Dale McCrea and Deb McWhirter Auditors: Ken Kline and Dennis Parrott Community Services: Lori Elam and Shane Walter Conservation: Dan Cohen and Matt Cosgrove County Attorneys: Darin Raymond and John Werden Emergency Management: Mike Goldberg and AJ Mumm Engineers: Paul Assman and Lyle Brehm Environmental Health: Eric Bradley and Joe Neary Information Technology: Micah Cutler and Jeff Rodda Public Health: Kathy Babcock and Doug Beardsley Recorders: Megan Clyman and Kris Colby Sheriffs and Deputies: Don De Kock and Lonny Pulkrabek Supervisors: Cara Marker-Morgan and Burlin Matthews Treasurers: Jarret Heil and Terri Kness Zoning: Joe Buffington and RJ Moore
ISAC Legislative Process LPC develops policy statements and legislative objectives Policy statements express long-term or continuing statements of principle important for local control, local government authority, and efficient county operation. These statements are designed to guide the Association in responding to public policy issues affecting county government. Legislative objectives provide specific problems and solutions for legislators to address. The ISAC policy team actively pursues bills for each legislative objective. Top priorities are presented during meetings with legislative leadership prior to the session.
ISAC Legislative Process ISAC Board reviews proposals for approval at October board meeting and sets top priorities Membership votes on platform at Fall School Legislative book published Legislators contacted Meetings with leadership/governor
ISAC 2015 Top Priorities Mental Health and Disability Services Records Requests Road Funding Multi-residential Property Tax
Mental Health and Disability Services Problem: Counties are facing continuing funding challenges regarding the new regional mental health and disability services (MH/DS) system. As the regions went fully functional on July 1, 2014, it remains to be seen whether the state has adequately funded the regions in order for the service system to maintain current services, let alone provide expanded services and services to additional populations as envisioned by redesign. The issue of the split employment of the mental health advocates between the counties/regions and the judicial branch still needs to be resolved. The requirement that the Department of Human Services (DHS) director approve the regions’ budgets or any budget amendments encroaches on home rule and will unnecessarily slow down a region’s ability to make the decisions necessary to meet the needs of its citizens with disabilities.
Mental Health and Disability Services Solution: Eliminate the 80% reversion to the state of projected savings to the county/regional system from the Iowa Health and Wellness Program and direct these savings into investments in the regional service system. Amend the Iowa Code to vest all employment responsibilities, including payment, and appointment for the judicial mental health advocates with the counties. Eliminate the requirement that the DHS director approve either the regions’ budgets or any ensuing budget amendments. Provide sufficient state funding both for FY 2016 and FY 2017 to ensure that the regions have the resources necessary to provide and manage core services.
Records Requests Problem: Government officials are required to spend significant time and resources to comply with records requests from companies seeking Iowa taxpayer data and information for resale. Counties have been threatened with and engaged in legal action because they were unable to provide data in the format requested by the companies, or manipulating the data would have required extensive resources or third- party software vendor services. Current law only requires the release of records in the format used by the government entity, but this language has been at issue in the aforementioned lawsuits.
Records Requests Solution: Clarify Iowa’s open records statute that allows government officials to reject records requests that seek data in a format other than that used by and readily accessible to the government entity. Amend Iowa’s open records statute to allow government officials to provide a quote for data manipulation and receive payment up front for records requests for data in a format other than that used by and readily accessible to the government entity.
Road Funding Problem: Per gallon user fee last increased in 1989 Cost of construction is more than 2.7 times higher over same period Stagnant or declining revenue source coupled with loss of buying power Normal wear and tear exacerbated by harsh winters, flooding, and heavy equipment use 2011 Road Use Tax Fund Study estimated annual statewide revenue shortfall to be $1.6 billion in total and $215 million in annual shortfall for the most critical needs Many counties are at maximum property tax transfer, nearly 1/4 use local option sales tax revenue, and nearly 1/3 have bonded for road and bridge projects Dependent on state funding for road and bridge repair and maintenance
Road Funding Problem: Counties responsible for 78% of Iowa roads 45% of hard surface roads 98% of gravel roads Federal Highway Administration rating of all hard surface roads in Iowa 19% in poor condition 23% in mediocre condition FHA rating of Iowa bridges 21% structurally deficient 6% functionally obsolete
Road Funding Solution: Hybrid fuel tax system that combines a per-gallon user fee and an excise sales tax Allow DOT to provide primary highway funds to counties and cities in lieu of federal funds Increase permit fees for oversize/overweight vehicles Maintain cap of $225 million for TIME-21 Fund and distribute additional revenue through RUTF formula Apply state excise sales tax on dyed fuels
Multi-residential Property Problem: New classification of multi-residential property Legislatively imposed rollback down to 90% with commercial class and additional 3.75% per year until assessment year 2022 Coupled with residential rollback in AY 2022 No backfill to local governments for reduction in future revenue after first two years Effectively a 13.75% decline in FY 2017
Multi-residential Property Solution: Standing appropriation to ease the hardship of the reduction in future revenue local governments will experience due to the legislatively imposed rollback
Multi-residential Property Problem : Administrative rule by the Department of Revenue requires assessors to determine primary use of property if it has multiple uses including a portion that is multi-residential If primary use is commercial, it will have dual classification with each portion classed separately If primary use is multi-residential the entire property will be classed multi- residential
Multi-residential Property Problem: Administrative rule by the Department of Revenue requires assessors to determine primary use of property if it has multiple uses including a portion that is multi-residential If primary use is commercial, it will have dual classification with each portion classed separately If primary use is multi-residential the entire property will be classed multi- residential
Multi-residential Property Problem: Lack of guidance to assessors on determining primary use Commercial and industrial properties would be taxed at the lower multi- residential rate if primary use is determined to multi-residential Potential for disparity in classification and assessments
Multi-residential Property Solution: Adopt legislation to implement a system of dual classification for multiple use properties so each portion is taxed according to its classification
Legislative Objectives Agricultural Building Value Lucas Beenken (ISAC Lead) Agricultural Exemption from Zoning and Building Codes Lucas Beenken (ISAC Lead) Bonding for Courthouse Improvements Jamie Cashman (ISAC Lead) Conservation Resources Lucas Beenken/Jamie Cashman (ISAC Combo Leads) Election Reform Jamie Cashman (ISAC Lead)
Legislative Objectives Food Safety Jamie Cashman (ISAC Lead) Delinquent Mobile Home Taxes Lucas Beenken (ISAC Lead) Kelsey Smith Act Jamie Cashman (ISAC Lead) Prisoner Medical Costs Jamie Cashman (ISAC Lead) User Fees: Driver’s License (LB Lead) Parking Fine and Court Costs (JC Lead) E-Commerce (LB Lead) Marriage Licenses (LB Lead) Sheriff’s Civil Fees (JC Lead)
Bill Tracking Tools
ISAC Legislative Bill Tracking Tool
Get Involved! Contacting your legislator o County Day at the Capitol – March 11, 2015 o Phone calls o (clearly state your subject in the subject line) o Letters o Forums Feedback o ISAC Update ed on Friday’s during session o Use the Legislative Comment Form to provide feedback
Questions? Jamie Cashman ISAC Government Relations Manager Lucas Beenken ISAC Public Policy Specialist