Iowa Farm Bureau seeks end to property tax financing of mental health services

Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill

Iowa Farm Bureau wants the state legislature to remove the costs of Iowa’s mental health system from the backs of property taxpayers.

Farm Bureau president Craig Hill says the state should be paying for mental health services.

“We believe in sustainable funding—the equitable funding—of mental health services, of course,” Hill says. “But it shouldn’t fall on the back of property taxpayers, and we’d like to see the state pick up those costs.”

Hill says property taxes should pay for property services, while people taxes—sales and income taxes—should pay for people services. Hill says that would help address the growing disparity in property taxes across Iowa.

“We have quite a disparity of what is being paid by those in unincorporated areas versus those in incorporated areas. In fact, about three times more is being paid by a rural citizen, in terms of property taxes, than someone living in an urban setting or in the city.”

The mental health funding issue is one of Iowa Farm Bureau’s top legislative priorities in 2020.  The Iowa legislature began its 2020 session on Monday.

AUDIO: Craig Hill

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