The top Republican in the Iowa House says if Republicans win statehouse majorities in the House and the Senate this November, one item on his wish list for 2015 is a “flat” state income tax. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, spoke early this morning at a breakfast meeting of central Iowa Republicans.
“It’s one of the things that the governor and I have spoken about,” Paulsen said. “…I don’t want to speak for him, but I do know that is something he has interest in as well.”
Paulsen and his fellow House Republicans endorsed a “flat” tax proposal last year, but it was not considered in the Democratically-led Iowa Senate. The proposal would have allowed Iowans to continue filing their income taxes under the current system or choose the alternative of a 4.5 percent flat tax on their income, with no deductions.
“That would be about a $400-500 million income tax cut,” Paulsen said. “My guess is it would grow the state of Iowa (economy) and end up over time increasing revenue because I think that is what’s happened every single time we’ve cut income taxes in the state of Iowa.”
Republican Governor Terry Branstad floated the idea of a “flat tax” in December of 2013, but wound up abandoning the proposal in early 2014 because of Democratic opposition. Democrats say the “flat” tax would provide a “significant’ tax break for wealthy Iowans and do nothing to make the state’s income tax system fairer.