An attempt by Des Moines city leaders to cash in on a tax cut state lawmakers enacted is drawing fire from legislative leaders. Senate President Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankeny, says the legislature intended for Iowans to get a tax break when lawmakers voted to erase the state sales tax on utility bills.
Des Moines’ City Council is considering a hike in the city franchise fee — equal to the amount of the sales tax cut.Lamberti says lawmakers are not happy with Des Moines, and may vote to take away cities’ authority to levy a franchise fee on utility bills. Laberti says “in the case of Des Moines we’re simply seeing a franchise tax increase as a way to generate more revenue.”
Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs agrees lawmakers may act if Des Moines officials follow through on their plan.Gronstal says democrats have long opposed the idea of taxing people — or charging a fee — on basic necessities like food and utilities. Gronstal made his comments during an appearance on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press program.