Governor Branstad is giving his grudging endorsement to a tax proposal from House Republicans. Legislative leaders from both parties have struck a tentative deal on a package that includes tax proposals as well stop-gap spending for the current state budgeting year. The new “Taxpayers Relief Fund” touted by House Republicans is included in the package.
“It wasn’t something that I recommended,” Branstad said this morning, “but it’s something we can live with.”
If there’s unspent money at the end of the state budgeting year, up to 60 million dollars of it would be placed in the Taxpayers Relief Fund and returned to taxpayers under the House Republicans’ plan. Legislators in the past have created other stand-alone funds — like a fund to help provide long-term care to the state’s elderly citizens — but soon decided to use that money for other purposes, so there’s no guarantee this new “Taxpayers Relief Fund” will be used for tax relief in the future. But
Branstad says this new fund is “absolutely essential” for the 60 Republicans in the Iowa House.
“This is something that I’ve heard from the House Republican leaders again and again…and we want to work with them,” Branstad said this morning. “…So we reached an accommodation with them. This is something we can live with.”
A Democratic proposal to provide tax relief to Iowans who earn less than $45,000 annually by boosting the earned income tax credit is included in the legislators’ deal, but Branstad is hinting he may item veto that proposal when the package reached his desk. Legislators may vote on the entire package sometime today.