Iowa Republicans may have a fight over the state gas tax when GOP delegates gather June 14 for the party’s state convention. The Iowa Republican Party’s platform committee voted 10-3 on May 10 to include a plank that called for increasing the state fuel tax. Tom Hansen of Decorah, a member of the platform committee, says that changed last week.
“We had a meeting on May 21st at 10:30 at night and the committee voted, on a 9-3 vote, to completely remove the plank addressing the gas tax issue and repairing any kind of infrastructure in the state of Iowa,” Hansen says. “The whole thing was completely removed.”
Hansen says “party leadership” made it clear to committee members they did not want any reference to the gas tax included in the Iowa GOP’s platform.
“The legislature has failed over many years now to address this issue. Their biggest piece has always been that there is no mandate to raise the gas tax and so they wind up doing nothing,” Hansen says. “…This plank was an attempt to remove that excuse and make the legislature move on this issue.”
Hansen will try to get delegates at the Iowa GOP’s state convention to put the call for increasing the gas tax back in the party platform.
“Leadership continues to ignore it, at their own peril,” Hansen says.
Hansen runs a refrigeration company in Decorah as well as a farm that markets organic beef in northwest Iowa. He is a former Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Chuck Gipp’s reelection bid to the House in 2006. Gipp was the House Republican Leader at the time.
(Reporting by KDEC’s Darin Swenson in Decorah; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)