Statehouse leaders say they’ll revive efforts to simplify Iowa’s income taxes and lower property taxes in January — after the election. A couple of years ago Iowa’s democrat Governor, Tom Vilsack, and republican leaders who control the legislature’s agenda said they’d start with a “blank sheet of paper” and try to significantly reform Iowa’s tax system. Partisan squabbling prevented a far-reaching deal. In the end, republicans pushed through a 300 million dollar income tax cut that Vilsack vetoed, and they passed a separate bill that Vilsack signed which launched a now-foundering project to recalculate property taxes. Senator Larry McKibben, a republican from Marshalltown who is chairman of the Iowa Senate’s tax-writing committee, spoke to the Iowa Taxpayers Association yesterday. McKibben says Iowa’s income tax code is “terribly burdensome.” McKibben says lawmakers were “on the right track” with the income tax cut Vilsack vetoed, but the G-O-P plans to revisit the plan and try to find a compromise that would simplify the tax code and reduce taxes. House Democrat Leader Pat Murphy of Dubuque says tax cuts are fine, as long as the state can afford them. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says if the G-O-P retains control of the Iowa House, property tax reform will be a priority. Rants says it may be “more equitable” to quit having property tax owners pay so much to operate the state’s schools.
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