This week an Iowa Senate subcommittee began considering legislation that would end the state’s beverage containers control program, better known as the “bottle bill”. The program proposed to take its place would have state government oversee and administer a new recycling program that would be funded by two new taxes.
Iowans for Tax Relief is opposed to SSB1186 in its current form because it expands the size and cost of government. Although indications are that there will be substantial changes made to the proposal before it advances any further, our legislators must know that any change to the existing bottle bill has to keep the government from expanding.
As written this bill would:
- Create two new taxes. One of those taxes would be used to “develop public relations campaigns, promote teachers-going-green-lesson plans, and coordinate community service outreach.”
- Require various state departments to create rules, administer programs, and otherwise oversee the different facets of this bill.
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Two weeks ago the Revenue Estimating Conference increased the final revenue projection, but it still fell $3.6 million short of covering Iowa’s $7.274 billion in spending from the General Fund.
This week, legislators cut about $35.5 million the current year’s budget to cover the shortfall and leave a projected ending balance on June 30 of $31.9 million.
The cuts include:
- $11 million from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University
- $10 million from the High-Quality Jobs Program
- $4.3 million from the Department of Human Services
- $3.4 million from the Department of Corrections
- $1.6 million from the judicial branch
- $500,000 from community colleges
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Pat Grassley said, “We’re not Washington, D.C. We don’t print money. We have to have a balanced budget at the end of each year. So we have to go in and make decisions.”
With the legislative session scheduled to end April 17, lawmakers will now work on tax reform and next year’s budget.
The two tax reform plans being considered by the Iowa Legislature this year reduce income tax rates differently.
The Iowa House is advancing Governor Reynolds’ plan that lowers rates with revenue triggers.
- When actual revenue increases to a predetermined level, rates are lowered.
- If revenue does not increase, rates will not be reduced.
- Triggers are a safeguard against uncertain revenue projections.
Iowa Senate passed a plan that would phase in rate reductions.
- Tax rates reduced on a defined schedule.
- Guarantees rate reductions.
Iowans for Tax Relief is supportive of both tax reform plans. Both proposals will let Iowans keep more of their money in their bank accounts.
Two states, Georgia and Idaho, have already cut their tax rates in response to federal tax reform. Will Iowa be the next state to follow the federal government in providing meaningful tax reform and relief to Iowans?
Lowering tax rates and reducing spending is a formula that will lead to economic growth in Iowa. As legislation is considered at the Capitol in subcommittees, full committees, or on the floor of either Chamber, Iowans for Tax Relief will register for, against, or undecided on bills based on how the bill impacts Iowa taxpayers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your opinion. We welcome your input.
Visit our website for a complete list of legislation ITR is tracking during this legislative session.