Governor Tom Vilsack proposes a more than four-and-a-half billion dollar spending plan for state government that includes tiny increases for education and environmental programs. Vilsack’s budget sketch calls for a one-point-eight percent overall spending increase. Vilsack calls it the “Goldilocks Budget” as some will say it’s too much spending, other will say too little, while he calls it “just the right amount.” Vilsack says he decided to try to maintain the status quo as best he could, because if the state’s to progress, it can’t afford to take a step back. Vilsack proposes some tax changes, like starting to collect sales taxes on more Internet sales, but there are no proposed tax increases in the plan. He says the natural inclination is to tax people more, but Vilsack says 70 percent of the workforce can’t afford any more tax.Vilsack also suggests speeding up the process of putting unclaimed property to the state so it can be cashed in, and closing a loophole which lets businesses pay less in Iowa corporate taxes. The Governor says government is a pretty good bargain in Iowa. Vilsack says the overall cost of state government — the taxes and fees Iowans pay — is taking a lower percentage of Iowans’ income than at any point in the past 20 years.
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