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Davenport considers tax rebate proposal for college savings

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Davenport officials are considering a program that would let residents funnel a property tax rebate into a college savings plan.

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The Davenport City Council discussed the proposal after a brief presentation Thursday by City Administrator Craig Malin, the Quad-City Times reported. The council is scheduled to vote on the measure next week. It could take effect in July, at the start of the next fiscal year.

The proposal, called “College Cornerstone,” would let participants of the Davenport Now property tax rebate program put their money into a 529 college savings plan of their choice. Malin said average returns for 529 plans show the Cornerstone program could return $18,800 over 10 years and $32,700 over 15 years.

“We’re not here to tell you what choice to make,” Malin told the council. “We just want to give you great choices.”

The proposal would be part of a four-year extension for the Davenport Now program, which started in 2009. It currently offers taxpayers a 50 percent tax rebate for 10 years on new construction of a single-family home. It also applies to construction of a business or renovation of a historic home. The newspaper reported that the average rebate is $6,500.

The council and Mayor Bill Gluba responded positively to the presentation.

“You’re not going to hurt your community by wanting to have your kids to be the best-trained, best-educated,” Gluba said after the meeting.

Alderman Jason Gordon, at large, said he wanted to review the proposal more closely before the vote.