Though the month of April may be known for it's warm spring rain showers and Easter season, in Iowa it also means that the legislative session will start concluding soon. For most Iowans, this should come both as a disappointment and a relief. It is disappointing because there are over 80,000 Iowans who are unemployed and the Legislature has not debated a single piece of legislation that will help put any Iowans back into gainful employment. On the other hand, Iowans should be relieved that the session will be ending soon because the trend seems to be to grow government instead of growing the economy.
Tuesday night, the State Capitol had hordes of concerned taxpayers descend to the House Chamber for the public hearing on the elimination of federal deductibility. Roughly 600 informed Iowans donned red shirts with the slogan, "No tax on a tax" and packed the House Gallery in support of keeping federal deductibility in Iowa.
Federal deductibility is one way many Iowans lessen their tax burden. Iowa is one of a handful of states that allows a 100 percent deduction for federal income tax payments on the state individual tax return. Eliminating this would be double taxation in Iowa. Individuals would be paying taxes on income that never reached their pockets, because the federal government took it first.
Everyone who gathered for the public hearing was well-informed, polite and rallying on behalf of the Iowa taxpayer. Halfway through the hearing the House Speaker asked the gallery to be cleared as he felt there was too much spontaneous reaction happening as the speakers made their comments. As state troopers escorted the public out of the chambers, shouts and "boos" were heard and many expressed disgust at being ousted from their house, the Iowa House of Representatives. One employee kicked out 600 of his employers.
As this issue barrels through the Capitol, Iowans should keep in mind that 70% of Iowans want to keep federal deductibility around. Eliminating federal deductibility will result in double taxation and would be a tax increase of $600 million. I, personally, will vote against this bill and do whatever I can to fight against it.
The Bio-diesel bill is still being tweaked to try to appease all parties concerned. I am all for renewable fuels and want to raise our fuel rather than import it. It just goes against my nature to force people to buy it via a mandate. Some people just need more time to accept this change and learn how to manage it. I believe it will become a major fuel source eventually without a mandate. On the other hand, some of our Iowa Bio-diesel plants are in financial trouble and could become owned by outside sources, including big oil. Their argument is for the mandate to help them stay in business. Others say Bio has a cleaning effect on existing facilities and requires higher levels of maintenance and management. There-in lies the debate. Stay tuned for Bio-diesel's next episode.
We are progressing through the budget process. Every area is under scrutiny and no one is safe from budget cuts. I know these are tough times and we are all going to have to work together to get through this.
Don't forget to come and join us for coffee at 10 a.m. on April 11 at the Gathering Place on Main Street in Dysart. Lance and Dawn also will be there.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments. Thank you for letting me represent you at the capitol.
Please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 515 281-3371.
State Sen. Tim Kapucian - Tama, Grundy, Benton and Iowa counites