he Legislature must commit to grow Iowa
not government -
This week marks the beginning of another legislative session and the commencement of a brand new General Assembly. Iowans from every corner, county and community have once again turned their attention back to the business being conducted under the golden dome in Des Moines. It is an honor to have been elected by the constituents of this District and I will do everything that I possibly can to uphold my commitment as your Senator.
This fresh start also provides a new opportunity for Senate Republicans to reaffirm our core principles and ensure that our party remains the party that is interested in growing Iowa and not government. In these challenging times, we must govern with common sense and offer solutions that empower citizens so that they can reach higher toward their aspirations and dreams instead of being held back by the reigns of a bigger, more intrusive government.
We must be responsible stewards of tax dollars and reject the reckless budgeting tactics that have jeopardized the economic health of the state. We believe that it is not acceptable to continue spending hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when Iowa families are having to prioritize their budgets and make tough decisions about where to cut back. We also believe that our state should budget within its means and not be creating even more debt now and then asking our children and grandchildren to foot the bill later.
We are committed to working to remove many of the roadblocks and barriers that are hindering not helping to create and retain jobs in Iowa. It is essential that we do not do any more harm to Iowa's economy by imposing new taxes or regulations on our small businesses, manufacturers, employers and entrepreneurs. We must also keep our workforce flexible and dynamic and resist any attempt to erode Iowa's right-to-work status. After all, it is economic opportunity that is the great equalizer in a free society.
We are committed to restoring Iowa's once proud educational heritage by returning to the fundamentals that paved the way for so many of Iowa's students to attain success and opportunity. If we fail to give our students the kind of world class education that they deserve, we are not only doing them a disservice but we are shortchanging the entire state because they are the future leaders of our communities, churches, civic groups and schools.
As Iowans, we have a golden opportunity to make a real difference for generations of Iowans to come and really make Iowa a place where families can prosper, employers can grow and children can succeed academically. But if we are to be successful, we must stand on principle and reject what has become the status quo. It is time to re-establish the notion that it is Iowans who run government and not the other way around.
Governor Delivers Debt Plan in Annual State of the State
Senate Republicans wait on Governor to provide specific details of plan
This week Governor Culver unveiled a new proposal that in one fail swoop would double Iowa's debt. The Governor's proposal calls for the state to issue $700 million worth of bonds to pay for housing, trails, highways, roads, bridges, mass transit, railways, airports, water quality and wastewater treatment improvements, flood-control improvements, energy infrastructure, disaster-relief infrastructure and public buildings.
We are committed to putting the taxpayer's budget ahead of the State's budget and currently this plan does not accomplish that. As we proceed through difficult budget times, created by the majority party's excessive spending, we must focus on the needs of Iowa. The previous two years the Governor and majority party focused on the wants while ignoring the needs, now the Governor is asking the taxpayer to burden the weight of both.
We are awaiting the details of the Governor's proposal and will gladly offer alternatives to satisfy the needs of our State. We will, however, carefully scrutinize this spending as Iowa's taxpayers should not be subjected to yet another failed bailout scheme.
We were pleased that the Governor has agreed with our position; you cannot tax your way out of a budget deficit. The Governor, however, failed to provide his budget to the Legislature at the same time of his annual address. When his budget is released later this month we will be scrutinizing it for any breach of his promise. The tax burden on Iowans is already too high and in this economy lawmakers should focus on how to ease the burden of government on your wallet.
When the Governor releases his budget later this month Senate Republicans will keep him at his word and hope he uses Iowa common sense in planning the State's budget.
Income Surtax Proposed by Majority Party Leaders
Considered to be a tax on a tax
After a two year review, the Property Tax Interim Study Committee released its final recommendations. Two of the recommendations focused on allowing cities and counties revenue diversification to ease the pressure on property taxes. While no details were offered on these recommendations the Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee supports giving local governments the ability to impose an Iowa income surtax.
Over the past two years majority party legislators have claimed that they will provide property tax relief to Iowans. The question before Iowa's taxpayer is how can the increase of one tax decrease another? How can increasing the income surtax provide property tax relief? Since a specific proposal has yet to be introduced we can only assume that this is simply another shell game forced upon the taxpayers of Iowa.
Sen. Tim Kapucian represents portions of Tama and Iowa counties and Benton County in the Iowa Senate.