Get Educated

Stay up to date with email updates

'The Watchdog'

It is a SPENDING Problem and The 1st Rule of Saving

posted on March 17, 2017

_______________

Again, It is a SPENDING Problem!

Despite lower than expected sales and income tax receipts, despite the false accusations blaming various tax credit programs, Iowa’s revenue continues to increase.

You might not hear this anyplace else because most of the news reports about Iowa’s lower-than-expected revenue growth have focused on what they say is a decline in state revenue. Take a closer look. Tax receipts have INCREASED 2.7% during the current fiscal year.  The real story should be Iowa approved too much spending in 2016.

At the Revenue Estimating Conference announcement Tuesday, Holly Lyons, director of the Legislative Services Agency said, “State revenues are still experiencing growth, just slow growth.” She went on to say, “There continues to be an underlying strength in the economy” A statement supported with the following data:

  1. Iowa is close to full employment with a jobless rate of 3.3% in January. The lowest it has been since August 2001.
  2. Iowa is one of only 11 states with a real gain in GDP of 4.5% or more.
  3. Farm commodity prices have stabilized improving prospects for 2017 farm income.
  4. The number of housing and building permits reached its highest level since 2006 and is 25% higher than one year ago.
  5. Sales of existing homes continue to be strong.

The budget problem Iowa is facing today was created last year.  Spending right up to the maximum allowed is never wise, especially when the revenue estimate turns out to be overly optimistic.

_______________

What’s the First Rule of Saving Money?

If you want to save money, don’t spend more than you receive. Sounds simple, right? Not always. Anytime elected officials are involved, it is never simple.

Currently, there is an Iowa law limiting spending to 99% of the revenue estimate. However, legislators have made holes in the law and at times have spent over the limit. The best solution to this problem is a constitutional amendment that would offer permanent protection. This week, a proposed amendment limiting spending to 99% of the estimated revenue or 104% of the current fiscal year net revenue has received bi-partisan support. It was approved by the Iowa Senate and is expected to pass in the House.

To amend the Iowa Constitution through a legislative initiative, an amendment resolution must receive a simple majority in both the House and Senate from two successive Iowa General Assemblies and then be approved by a majority of Iowa voters. The next step for this resolution is approval in either of the 2019 or 2020 legislative sessions. It will then have the opportunity to be voted on by all Iowans.

This type of protection for our state’s budget is simply common sense. It is prudent to stop politicians from spending more than the state takes in.

_______________

Support Pro-Taxpayer Legislators!

Last November, your voice was clearly heard when you voted. Now, your legislators need your support again. Pro-taxpayer legislators are being attacked for defending Iowa’s budget.

Attend your forum and let them know you appreciate their efforts to make state government smaller and smarter.

These are not ITR sponsored forums.

Saturday, March 18

Rep. Rob Bacon
Rep. Chip Baltimore
Rep. Clel Baulder
Sen. Jerry Behn
Rep. Dave Deyoe
Rep. Tom Moore
Rep. Ralph Watts

8:00 a.m.
Erickson Public Library, Boone

Sen. Rick Bertrand
Rep. Jim Carlin

8:30 a.m.
Sioux City School District Office

Sen. Michael Breitbach
Rep. Michael Bergan

9:00 a.m.
Valone’s Family Restaurant, Oelwein

Sen. Michael Breitbach
Rep. Kristi Hager
Sen. Mark Segebart

11:15 a.m.
Allamakee County Farm Bureau, Waukon

Rep. Ashley Hinson
Rep. Ken Rizer
Sen. Dan Zumbach
Rep. Louie Zumbach

10:30 a.m.
Lowe Park, Cedar Rapids

Rep. Steve Holt
10:00 a.m.
Town and Country Credit Union
Harlan

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann
9:00 a.m.
Wilton Community Room

Rep. David Kerr
7:30 a.m.
Partnership Office, Burlington

Rep. David Kerr
Sen. Tom Green

9:15 a.m.
West Burlington City Hall

Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink
Rep. Mike Sexton

8:30 a.m.
Humboldt City Hall

Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink
11:00 a.m.
Pizza Ranch, Pocahontas

Sen. Mark Costello
Rep. David Sieck

9:00 a.m.
Malvern Library

Sen. Jeff Elder
10:00 a.m.
Marshalltown Library

Rep. Tom Moore
Rep Cecil Dolecheck

10:00 a.m.
Corning Public Library

Sen. Mark Segebart
Rep. Gary Worthan

9:00 a.m.
King’s Pointe, Storm Lake