Republicans in the Iowa House have done an about-face and endorsed a phase-out of state sales taxes on natural gas, heating oil, propane and electricity. Last week, House Republicans voted only in favor of a two-month suspension of state sales taxes on natural gas, then in the Senate, Republicans joined with Democrats to endorse the long-term sales tax proposal. Representative Steve Soukup, a republican from Dougherty, now says both proposals are a good idea. He says legislators can have the best of both worlds.Democrats in the House had pressed for taking the sales tax off natural gas purchases, but now some like House Democrat Leader Dick Myers of Iowa City oppose the proposal because heating oil, propane and electricity would be exempted from sales taxes, too. He says,”I think we have gone beyond the pale, here.” Myers says the state can’t afford to give up all that tax revenue.Myers says Iowans would get 42-million dollars of sales tax relief on natural gas purchases under the proposal he favors. The one which cleared the House last night would extend 90-million dollars of sales tax relief to Iowans.
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