Sunday, April 06, 2008

News From Christopher Rants

The following is the latest news from the Iowa House from the House Minority Leader, Christopher Rants:

Give it back...
This week House Republicans challenged majority Democrats to give back any additional revenue the state collects at a key state budget meeting scheduled for Friday.

We all know the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) is going to increase the estimate due to revenue running at over 10 percent year-to-date. Several Democrats have hinted that they are waiting for the increase to add spending to their already excessive budget. We think a better way to use this revenue is to reverse their tax increases and give it back to the people who gave it to the state in the first place - the taxpayers.

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) is a three person committee of experts who estimate state tax revenues. The Legislature is bound by law to use the REC’s December estimate of state revenue to build the state budget. The REC is set to meet Friday, and most expect the group to increase the revenue estimate. However state law also prevents the Legislature from spending any additional money from the April meeting.

If the Democrats are going to break the law, they may as well give the money back to the taxpayers. We’ve already seen the Democrats raise taxes at least twice this session. Once on business owners, and once on property owners.
Business owners were socked with an unexpected tax increase due to the federal stimulus package. The change is called “bonus depreciation” and when Iowa failed to mirror the federal changes, Iowa business owners saw a $55 million tax cut disappear.

Republicans attempted to protect property taxpayers from automatic property tax increases due to the growth in local school spending. The House GOP plan had the state pay the property tax increase instead of local property taxpayers. By defeating the Republican plan, Democrats nailed property taxpayers with a $95 million property tax increase over the next two fiscal years.

The REC is scheduled to meet at 10 on Friday to revise the estimates for FY 08 and FY 09.

Keep it up
Don't forget to keep contacting the governor, asking him to veto House File 2645 the bill that tilt's the collective bargaining filed in favor of the unions. Hopefully you've had the opportunity to talk to your city council members, school boards, and county supervisors and they've expressed to you just how bad this legislation is for Iowa and how it strips them of their power.

We must keep the pressure on the governor and keep the attention on this bill so it does not slip through.

Phone: (515) 281-5211