The Iowa Federation of Labor’s president is pressing for a statewide tax increase. Mark Smith says if the economy fails to recover, the state budget will be in such shape that the 2003 Iowa Legislature will have to consider “revenue enhancers.” Smith says if 1997 income tax rates were reinstated, Iowans would pay just under three bucks more per week, and the state would have 230-million more dollars in the till, ensuring that more teachers, state patrol troopers and child care workers wouldn’t have to be laid off. Smith says the state budget cuts this past year have been devastating.Smith says the state’s finances are horrible, but the state’s not broke, and legislators should have used the more than 800 million dollars in reserve funds and protected accounts, like the gas tax, rather than lay off troopers and other critical state workers. One-hundred-20 thousand Iowans are members of the Federation of Labor/A-F-L/C-I-O; none are state workers.
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