Governor Tom Vilsack soon will unveil details of his state budget plan for the coming year. Vilsack’s formal budget outline will be forwarded to lawmakers on Friday.and says it’ll be a mostly “status quo” budget with increases for just a handful of priorities like K-through-12 education and cleaning up the environment. The outline will include proposals to reduce government paperwork and cut spending.Vilsack says there are no tax increases included in the plan, although he is asking the Iowa Legislature to pass a law setting up the procedure for collecting the state sales tax on Internet sales. Vilsack denies it’s a backdoor tax increase, as he says its a tax that’s already owed. Vilsack says “the budget itself is not a very exciting document,” and “the reality is in this day and age if states can maintain the status quo, that’s a victory.” Earlier this month, Vilsack proposed a 500-million dollar “Iowa Values” fund that would provide grants to high-tech businesses, but he says there are several ways to finance it and he’s willing to work with legislators to come up with the details. Vilsack made his comments during a weekend appearance on Iowa Public Television.
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