The Iowa Senate spent hours last night debating a state spending plan for next year, but it was tax policy that was the dividing line. Governor Tom Vilsack, a democrat, says it’s time to raise taxes in order to fulfill state spending priorities. Republican lawmakers like Senator Jeff Angelo of Creston say no to that.Angelo says working families can breathe a sigh of relief because the republican budget plan does not raise taxes. Angelo says at a time when government tax revenues are diminished because of tight economic times, he says they can view it as a tragedy or an opportunity, and he says government should become more efficient. Angelo says raising taxes would bring bad consequences. Angelo says raising taxes would choke off the economic recovery and put faith in big government as a provider. Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says the republican-crafted budget outline will harm the state’s economy. Gronstal says the “bottom line is that this budget will bring real pain and suffering to many Iowans.” Gronstal says the state’s shifting some duties to local governments — like the responsibility of upgrading voting machines. Gronstal says that means the republican budget will increase property taxes. Gronstal says republicans should have listened to Iowans before putting their budget plan together.
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