Governor Chet Culver says if he finds public support for the idea, he’d like to give “middle class Iowans” a tax cut next year. A significant income tax change failed to pass the 2009 legislature before it adjourned last month, but Culver chalks that up to poorly executed public relations.

“There’s been a lot of partisan bantering about, a lot of misinformation,” Culver says. “Most people don’t know, for example, that the last proposal on the table included a $50 million tax cut where 80 percent of Iowans would get a tax cut or no change in their taxes.”

Culver suggests there was nothing really wrong with the tax package that failed to clear the 2009 legislature as it met his objectives.

“I’ve said all along the only type of tax reform I’m in favor of is one that gives the majority of Iowans, especially hardworking Iowans, a tax cut,” the governor says.

Culver says he plans to travel the state over the next few months to talk with Iowans and get their ideas on tax reform.

“The last plan that we had proposed on the table…had 80 percent of Iowans getting a tax cut or no change. It was a net tax cut of $50 million for hardworking folks,” Culver says. “Whether or not we can get something like that passed next session has yet to be seen, but Democrats are in favor of a tax cut.”

Culver rejects predictions from Republicans who charge Culver and his fellow Democrats who control the legislature have overspent and will be forced to raise taxes next year. Culver, in particular, pointed to remarks the Republican state auditor made during an appearance on the IPTV program “Iowa Press.”

“Republican Auditor David Vaudt was on this show a year ago predicting gloom and doom. He said that there’s no way during the 2009 session that we can balance the budget without major tax increases or major layoffs — and he was wrong, and here they go again,” Culver says. “You’re hearing the same partisan rhetoric from the Republicans whether it’s their chairman or the Republican leaders. It’s doom. It’s gloom. It’s despair. The Democrats are the party of hope and opportunity.”

Culver is the guest on this evening’s “Iowa Press” program which airs at 7:30.