Pat Grassley

Key committee leaders in the Iowa House have launched an examination of the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits the state awards every year. They range from the earned income tax credit for low income Iowans to tax credits for companies that conduct research.

“One of the things we’re going to find out pretty quickly if we get serious about looking at tax credits is who’s getting ’em,” says Representative Guy Vander Linden, a Republican from Oskaloosa who leads the tax policy committee in the Iowa House, “because they’ll show up, pretty quickly, to weigh in.”

Critics charge the state is handing out hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare.

House Appropriations Chairman Pat Grassley says all tax credits should be reviewed — and he expects Democrats and Republicans will be “upset” that their preferred tax credit might be eliminated.

“I think you’re going to have everyone from every part of the state and every party that wants to protect certain ones,” Grassley says.

Members of the House Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees heard an hour long presentation today about the wide range of tax credits the state offers and how much each is worth to Iowa taxpayers. Legislators say it may be necessary to hire an outside consultant to come wtih an analysis that shows if the tax credits are providing the kind of results envisioned when the credits were established.

(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell)