The legislature’s top Republican leader is adamantly opposed to the idea of raising taxes. Governor Tom Vilsack yesterday said it was time to look at the revenue side of the state budgeting picture, meaning taxes, but Vilsack didn’t have a specific proposal. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, says that’s a cop out. Rants says if Governor Vilsack is really intent on raising taxes, he’s going to have to conduct a very aggressive statewide campaign because there is not going to be support in the legislature to raise taxes.Rants says Vilsack is very good at laying out ideas and leaving it up to the Legislature to fill out the blanks and flesh out the details. Rants says that won’t work this time. Rants says if Vilsack wants a tax increase, he’ll have to go to Iowans and get them to tell their legislators to support a tax hike. Rants says he doesn’t think that’s a case Vilsack can make. Rants says trying to raise taxes would be the worst possible thing to do to the Iowa economy. Rants says Vilsack should visit Sioux City again and look across the river to see all the former Iowans who’re living in South Dakota because of that state’s lower taxes. Vilsack says when he travels out-of-state and talks with business leaders, they don’t ask about Iowa’s tax structure. Vilsack says they ask about Iowa’s education system, and Vilsack says that’s one reason it’s time to reprioritize state spending to ensure more tax money is spent on schools and other programs for kids. Rants has a different opinion. Rants says raising taxes sends exactly the wrong signal to those who are deciding where to build a business or where to live.
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