Local lawmakers square off on taxes

Local lawmakers square off on taxes Main Photo

21 Apr 2018

Bill Shea


A pair of Republican lawmakers told a Fort Dodge audience Friday that they’re eager to reach a compromise on a massive tax cut bill so they can wrap up this year’s legislative session.

However, one of their Democratic colleagues said the eventual tax cut plan probably won’t be the great deal for most Iowans that Republicans hope it will be.

“You cut and cut and cut and the line is that everybody gets more money in their pocket to spend, but that money gets taken out in other places by other fees and things,” state Rep. Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge, said Friday evening during an Eggs and Issues legislative forum.

She was joined at the forum by state Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, and state Rep. Mike Sexton, R-Rockwell City.

The roughly 45 people at the forum held at the Iowa Central Community College East Campus heard Kraayenbrink and Miller disagree over how their respective parties approach taxation.

According to Kraayenbrink, the Republican Party believes that cutting taxes is the way to stimulate the economy. He said the Democratic Party believes raising taxes is the way to stimulate the economy.

“That is just a philosophical difference between the two parties,” he said.

Miller disagreed with his assessment of the Democratic Party’s stance on taxes.

“I have never heard of that,” she said. “I have never said that I believe the way to stimulate the economy is to raise taxes.”

The federal tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump late last year are the impetus for the latest effort by legislative Republicans to cut taxes.

That tax cut is expected to give Iowa’s state government more money, because Iowans are allowed to deduct the amount of money they pay in federal income taxes from their state income taxes. Since Iowans will be paying less to the federal government, they will have less to deduct from their state income taxes.

The result of that is an estimated $188 million more for the state government.

Full article.
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