The largest state teacher’s union opposes the income tax cut sought by Republicans in the state legislature. Iowa State Education Association leaders say cutting taxes will threaten education funding at a time when schools are already doing more with less. Iowa State Education Association president John Hieronymus says Iowa’s top quality education system is the state’s most effective economic development tool and more cuts in the system are unwise. Hieronymus says when money’s invested in schools, it provides a quality education, a quality workforce and encourages people to move here because they know their kids will get a top-notch education. The Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church joins the teachers union in opposing the tax cut. Lana Ross, a lobbyist for the church, says the tax cut proposed disproportionately benefits the rich. She says Iowans who earn 270-thousand dollars or more a year will get an eight-thousand dollar income tax cut. Ross says those who earn 14-thousand dollars or less a year will get a “measly” 35 dollar tax cut. Ross says she doesn’t hold a degree in economics, but that doesn’t seem right to her. Charles Bruner, executive director of the Iowa Children and Family Policy Center, says the income tax cut, which would equal about 300-million, is way too big.Bruner says that amounts to about 15 percent of the state budget, and one out of every 10 teachers might have to be fired, and one out of every 10 child care workers might have to be laid off because of that reduction in state tax revenue. Republican legislators plan to consider a cut in state income taxes when they convene in special session late next week. Backers say it’ll stimulate Iowa’s economy and make the state more attractive to businesses.
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