Governor Chet Culver has transferred $45.3 million from the state’s cash reserve to balance the books on the state budgeting year that ended June 30, 2009.
Critics suggested in late June and early July that state tax revenue had fallen so dramatically the budget might wind up in the red. Iowa’s governor has the authority to transfer up to $50 million from the state’s “Economic Emergency Fund” to balance the books when the accounts are closed three months later. Culver used all but $5 million of the amount he was authorized to transfer.
Culver issued a prepared statement, saying he had “kept (his) word to the taxpayers of Iowa and ended a tough financial year with a balanced budget…without raising taxes.”
Republican legislators quickly criticized the governor’s action, saying he had “raided” the state’s reserve.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Rants of Sioux City accused Culver and his managers of “budget gimmickry” by delaying payment of tax refunds in order to make the books balance.