Legislators do not intend to enact Governor Branstad’s plan to reduce the state’s corporate income tax this year. Branstad had asked legislators to cut the state’s top corporate income tax rate in half.  House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, doesn’t expect the proposal to clear the Republican-led House. 

 “I suppose anything’s possible, but that’s not my expectation right now,” Paulsen says.

Branstad had proposed raising taxes on the state’s casinos by about $200 million and then cutting the top corporate income tax rate in half, which would be a $200 million savings for corporations. Both of those proposals failed to even clear a committee in the House or Senate, and Paulsen doesn’t expect either to be revived in the closing days of the 2011 legislative session.

“Right now we’re trying to resolve a budget and resolving the property tax bill and the mental health bill,” Paulsen says. “And that’s what our time’s being focused on right now.” 

Legislators from both parties have been working to come up with a plan to cut commercial property taxes. The Iowa Senate is poised to debate the other bill Paulsen mentioned.  It would start the process of redesigning mental health services in Iowa and have the state take over a greater share of the costs now borne by counties. When someone in Iowa cannot afford to pay for counseling or more intense mental health services today, counties now pay those bills.