Key legislators say the school infrastructure sales tax that Governor Branstad wants to use a source for water quality initiatives isn’t likely to be tapped. Senate President Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, says voters who approved the local option sales taxes were told the money was for schools and property tax relief.
“I’m not so sure we want to renege on a promise we made to voters when they cast that original vote,” Jochum says.
The other difficulty is the governor is proposing to extend the sales tax for school infrastructure by another 20 years. Republicans would like to see the tax end as scheduled.
“Republicans aren’t very interested in raising taxes. You’re right about that part,” says House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, a Republican from Clear Lake.
Upmeyer says Republicans and Democrats are interested in talking about ways to address water quality issues, however, and are willing to consider other ideas.