Gov. Terry Branstad
Gov. Terry Branstad
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DES MOINES — Gov. Terry Branstad told the recent Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit in Des Moines that his chief goal next legislative session is to reduce the property tax on commercial and industrial property from its current 100 percent.

“It hurts the entrepreneur,” Branstad told a crowd of nearly 500 people gathered for the summit at Drake University. “It hurts the renter. It hurts small businesses that are trying to make a living.”

He said the high tax on commercial property puts Iowa at a disadvantage. Branstad wants to drop commercial property tax rates by 40 percent over eight years.

“That’s going to be at the top of our priority list for next year,” Branstad said.

In his remarks Branstad also applauded a recent free-trade pact passed by Congress with South Korea.

“We’re going to sell a lot more pork in South Korea,” Branstad said.

Branstad told the audience of immigrants to Iowa that education is the great equalizer.

“My Jewish mother said, ‘Get a great education because that’s something they can never take away from you,’” Branstad said.

Branstad grew up Lutheran in northern Iowa but later converted to Catholicism. He mother was Jewish, something the governor has said informs his tolerance of diversity.