With Property Tax Deadline Today, Conlin Hypocritically Calls for More Taxes but Quietly Takes Abatement on Nearly $2 Million Mansion

September 30, 2010

DES MOINES – Iowans across the state are feeling the burden of higher property taxes with today’s payment deadline, but U.S. Senate candidate Roxanne Conlin isn’t one of them after receiving tax abatement on her nearly $2 million mansion.

Conlin continues to campaign claiming she wants to “end tax breaks for the wealthy” but she and her husband applied for and city officials granted them an “urban revitalization tax abatement” on their 8,206-square-foot brick residence that also has a 1,431-square-foot deck and 192-square-foot porch in an upscale Des Moines neighborhood. As a result, the Conlins’ semi-annual property tax bill is only $1,441 despite owning the third-most expensive home in Des Moines. The mansion and land are valued at $1.78 million. Under the five-year abatement, the Conlins pay property taxes on only the lot and not the $1.65 million structure – and, in fact, their semi-annual property tax bill went down $347, 19 percent, this year.

“If Roxanne Conlin wants to end tax breaks for the wealthy, the first thing she can do is stop applying for them and then she can start paying property taxes on her home like ordinary Iowans do,” said Eric Woolson, spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley’s re-election campaign. “If she feels so strongly that everyone ought to pay higher taxes, why is it that she and her husband proactively sought to escape paying the property taxes that fund local schools, repair local streets and pay the salaries of school teachers, firefighters and police officers? Once again, her hypocrisy knows no bounds.”

“A politician can’t get more hypocritical than to call for higher taxes and then go out of their way to escape paying them. Roxanne Conlin seems to think everybody else in the world should pay more taxes than her, including older Iowans on fixed incomes who are just getting slammed with big property tax increases this year. When they cast their votes in the Senate race, Iowans who are paying more than their fair share might want to remember that Roxanne Conlin has once again avoided paying taxes.”

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Woolson Featured in CBS News Story about Potential Palin Candidacy

September 17, 2010

DES MOINES — Eric Woolson, owner of The Concept Works, was interviewed today in a CBS News story about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s potential 2012 bid for the presidency that aired on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

Woolson, who managed the successful Iowa campaign of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid, spoke to CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds about the dangers of candidates who run celebrity-based campaigns rather than putting in hard work at the grassroots level.

Here’s a link to Reynolds’ story, “Palin: It’s Time to Take Our Country Back” as it appears on the Political Hotsheet.


Hubbell Realty Co. Moves Forward with Three Developments Tailored for Specific Markets, Communities

September 3, 2010

WEST DES MOINES – Hubbell Realty Co. will break ground on affordable-housing developments in Johnston, Norwalk and Des Moines in upcoming weeks with completion of 182 residences slated by the end of 2012, President and CEO Rick Tollakson said today.

“Hubbell Realty, as the region’s leader in affordable and market-value housing, is responding to specific needs in the Des Moines market,” Tollakson said. “In Johnston, the Cottages at Johnston Commons will offer ranch homes for renters who are age 55 and older. In Norwalk, the Cedarbrooke Place Apartments will be designed for families. And, the Riverpoint Lofts are targeted specifically for downtown living. When these three developments are completed, Hubbell will own and manage more than 2,100 apartments.”

A portion of the three developments announced today will be funded through federal grants approved Tuesday by the Iowa Finance Authority.

“In addition to providing much-needed affordable housing, these three developments will create more than 310 local jobs,” Tollakson said. “They represent a real win-win for greater Des Moines.”

Cedarbrooke Place Apartments, 2503 Cedar St., Norwalk, will include 60 affordable housing apartments for families. Cedarbrooke represents a $9.1 million investment, including $1.6 million in a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and $937,684 from the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

The Cottages at Johnston Commons will include 31 units. Tollakson said the development will cost $5.8 million. It was awarded a $1 million block grant and received a $588,988 tax credit. The Riverpoint Lofts, 308 SW Eighth St., in Des Moines’ Court Avenue neighborhood involves the rehabilitation of a former Sealy mattress warehouse to create 91 residences. Its total estimated cost is $14.8 million, which includes a $3 million block grant and a $1.45 million tax credit.

Hubbell Realty Co. has been a staple in the Des Moines real estate market for over 150 years. Its superior craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail has established its reputation for excellence and value. Buildings that Hubbell Realty has constructed for over a century remain prominent throughout the Des Moines metro today.

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