Details of the 100-million dollar tax cut plan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver first discussed a week ago are now out. During a debate last Monday night, the two major party candidates for governor were asked to outline what changes in state tax policy they would seek if they’re elected.
Culver spent most of his two minutes talking about his call for raising the state tax on cigarettes, and then he slipped in this: “We also have a $100 million tax relief package. We’re going to reduce property taxes, income taxes. We’re going to offer an earned-income tax expansion and we’re going to give people credit for purchasing flex-fuel vehicles, a tax credit, so that we can expand the market for ethanol and biodiesel.”
A Culver campaign spokeswoman says Culver has talked about some of the proposals individually, but it was the first time Culver referred to it as a “package.” Culver is promising about 14 million dollars in tax credits to businesses and individuals who invest in so-called “renewable energy” That would include a tax break for Iowans who buy vehicles that can run on E-85.
One-fourth of the “tax relief” Culver promises would go to property taxpayers, as Culver would have the state would spend more on schools — and schools rely heavily on property taxes. Another 21 million would come in the form of tax credits for low- and middle-income Iowans on their earnings — as well as an expanded tax break for low- and middle-income Iowans who have kids or care for a dependent adult.
The campaign of Republican rival Jim Nussle campaign says Culver was attempting a “Hail Mary pass” when he referred to a $100-million tax cut package in last Monday’s debate. Nick Ryan, Nussle’s campaign manager, says Culver is a “desperate candidate” throwing out new ideas to try to “save” his campaign.