A Waterloo attorney is joining the list of Democrats running for governor. Vernon Weems makes his living as a business consultant and says companies and residents of Iowa are overtaxed. Weems says he would abolish the state income, property and inheritance taxes. He says you could replace the revenues with a fee or tax on agricultural products.
He says for example, you could put a one dollar tax on a bushel of corn or beans and tax meat products by the pound. Weems says the state could also tax manufacturing products. He says you could tax things like the John Deere tractors made in his hometown of Waterloo by maybe 10 or 15 dollars. He says that way you could maintain the same budget, but the money instead of coming from corporations and the private sector, the money would come from businesses outside the State of Iowa.
Weems says it shifts the burden from inside the state to outside. He says currently about 58-percent of the corn that is sold is exported out of the nation, so he says foreign countries would be contributing about 58-percent of the corn tax. Weems says while this would make Iowa products more expensive than those sold in other states, he does not think it would put Iowa companies at a disadvantage.
Weems says Iowa companies would benefit by not having to pay corporate income taxes and he says neighboring states would quickly adopt a similar tax structure. Weems is the 8th Democrat to announce a run for governor. Weems lost a run for Waterloo mayor in 2001.