Two years ago, Iowa faced a $900 million budget shortfall. Today, we have an ending balance of $688 million and our budget reserves are full. To achieve this dramatic turnaround, we needed to make a fundamental change in legislative decision-making. In the past, state government spent every dollar possible, every year, including money we didn’t even have.
Now that the state’s fiscal house is back in order, we cannot return to the poor decisions of the past. The temptation to grow government as much as possible must be resisted.
As we begin moving budget bills through the House, we will remain committed to the core principles that led to our recent success: We will not spend more money than the state takes in, we will not use one-time money to pay for on-going expenses, and we will not intentionally underfund entitlement programs to balance the state’s budget.Read more
Since the beginning of the legislative session my colleagues and I have been working on ways to leave more money in Iowans’ pocketbooks. With our budget balanced and our fiscal house in order, now is the time for serious, meaningful tax relief.
In light of this goal, I was proud to vote for the passage of House File 3 this week, which creates a choice for Iowans when paying their income taxes. They can choose between the current system, or a new 4.5% flat tax with no deductions or credits.
Not a single Iowan will be required to pay higher taxes under this plan.
This bill, simply put, makes Iowa’s tax system simpler, flatter and fairer. The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency, predicts that approximately 39% of Iowa tax filers would choose the new flat tax option, which would reduce their overall tax burden by close to $400 million.