Bills introduced the week of January 28

HF107 provides that for property tax valuation purposes, residential property includes that portion of a building or structure situated on stories above the ground floor that is used for human habitation and a proportionate share of the land upon which the building or structure is situated, even if the use for human habitation is not the primary use of the building or structure.  Several caveats apply.  The bill allows an assessor to assign more than one classification to a parcel of property satisfying the requirements.

HF87 pertains to 28E (intergovernmental) agreements between political subdivisions.  It would require that for agreements entered into after July 1, 2013 any disputes arising between parties must be submitted to mediation, then arbitration if necessary (rather than resort to litigation).

SF98 would repeal the Iowa plumber, mechanical professional, and contractor licensing act. It would also eliminate language in Iowa Code 105.17 that provides that Chapter 105 supersedes and preempts all plumbing, HVAC, refrigeration, hydronic, and contracting licensing provisions of cities and counties.

SF94 In similar fashion to SF98, this bill would repeal Iowa Code chapter 103, providing for statewide licensure of electricians and electrical contractors. The effect would be to return to the system of administration and regulation of electricians and electrical contractors, and electrical inspections, by cities and counties in place prior to the enactment of Chapter 103.

SF70 would require each contract for the construction of a public improvement made by a governmental unit to contain a provision requiring that the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used or supplied in the performance of the contract or any subcontract be manufactured in the United States. The bill provides definitions for “construction,” “manufactured in the United States,” and “public improvement.”  The requirement may be waived if the application of the requirement would be contrary to the public interest, that the products necessary for the public improvement are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality, or that the requirement would increase the cost of the contract by more than 5 percent.

HSB75 would make several important revisions to Chapter 384 pertaining to special assessments.  I won’t provide all the details unless and until it moves further along in the process, but some highlights include:

  • It establishes definitions of “community benefit,” “area benefit,” and “individual benefit.”
  • Before initiating work on a public project for which a special assessment will be levied a city must adopt an ordinance setting forth the methodology and procedure to  be used in determining the amount of individual benefit, area benefit, and community benefit that will result from a public improvement and a description of how costs will be allocated to each category.
  • It allows a lot that is subject to a special assessment to be divided into two or more lots for assessment purposes on the request or consent of the property owner.
  • The planning, legal, administrative, engineering, and inspection costs for that portion of the public improvement that is a community benefit and all city employee salary costs associated with the public improvement are presumed to confer a community benefit.
  • if the project includes a street, the city must complete a traffic analysis that forecasts the amount of traffic attributable to each lot in the district vs. traffic generated by other sources, and gives parameters for use in making the forecasts.

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