Governor Tom Vilsack’s been traveling the state the past two days, trying to build support for his call to increase the cigarette tax and charge sales tax on more service in order to raise money to meet state spending priorities. During a stop this morning in Dubuque, Vilsack said if you get your hair cut or your car fixed, you pay sales tax. But Vilsack said services most often used by businesses — things like accounting, engineering, consulting, or management — are not subject to the state sales tax. He said that means consumers end up paying more because businesses pay less in sales taxes. Democratic legislators were less than enthusiastic about Vilsack’s proposed tax hikes. Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs went so far as to say Democrats in the legislature have a “fairly high resistance to increasing taxes.” Vilsack’s holding out hope he can change minds. Vilsack said he’ll be working with legislators of both parties to encourage them to have an open mind. He will be providing the detailed outline of his tax and spending plans to legislators tomorrow. Vilsack said now’s not the time for ideology or partisanship. He said now’s the time for leadership.
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