Republican State Auditor David Vaudt is bringing his criticism of both the governor’s and republican legislators’ proposed budgets to voters. Speaking to a group of people last night (Monday) in Adel, Vaudt compared state spending to a family budget. “It would be like a family that typically has a checking account that they pay all their operating costs out of, but in the second year their income goes down so they decide to shift a lot of their expenses over to the Mastercard account, but the only measure what comes out of the checking account as their cost of services when the true total cost is what they put on their Mastercard too.” Instead of borrowing from creditors, Vaudt says the state is depleting its reserve funds, which is not represented in either party’s general fund spending plan. Since fiscal year 2001, Iowa has spent nearly 550-million dollars of cash reserves that legally must be replenished and an additional 930-million dollars from other special fund accounts. Vaudt says the solution to the state’s financial problems involves better preparation and planning.”We’ve got to decide where does Iowa want to be in three to five years from now so that we can set some of those financial goals and then we can evaluate each proposal each year for the budget to say ‘does that fit in with our long term plans?'” Vaudt predicts current budgeting practices will result in a significant tax increase or cutbacks in state services.
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