Governor Chet Culver is delivering a budget warning to his administrators. The move comes as Culver and his staff acknowledge that the level of state spending promised by the Democratic-led legislature doesn’t match the amount of state tax revenue that’ll be collected.
Department of Management director Charlie Krogmeier says if current trends continue, the state will wind up two-hundred-million dollars short next year. “So we’ve got some work to do and have started meeting with the governor in the last couple of days to go over those budgets and see where we might make some adjustments to make up that gap or that difference,” Krogmeier says.
According to Krogmeier, the governor’s committed to ensuring top priorities in education aren’t cut. But Krogmeier says state agencies will likely face “status quo” budgets next year.
House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City is saying ‘I told you so’ to Democrats who led the crafting of the state budget. “They’ve got a three percent increase in (state tax) revenue, but they committed themselves to a 10 percent-plus increase in spending,” Rants says. “That’s the fiscal train wreck that they’re looking at.”
Rants charges that Democrats will opt to raise taxes rather than endorse a meager state spending plan for the next state budgeting year which begins July 1st. “They’re not generating enough revenue to make their budget work,” Rants says. “…As a taxpayer, I’m holding onto my wallet very tight right now because this is bad news.”
A panel of financial experts met Tuesday at the statehouse and issued their prediction that state tax revenues would increase about three percent in the coming year. Democratic leaders in the legislature were not immediately available for comment.