Pam Jochum

A key Democratic lawmaker said she’s concerned the Senate GOP’s just-revealed $1 billion tax cut will wreck the state budget.

“Really, I think what we want to make sure is that anything that we do is going to benefit middle income families and that it is kept in the context of our budget, so that we aren’t making even deeper cuts in educating children,” Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque said.

Jochum is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Ways and Means tax-writing Committee. Jochum argued tax cuts should be targeted for the middle class, but she said the GOP plan will provide a windfall for the wealthiest Iowans.

“Sounds great. Everybody wants a tax cut, but who’s getting it?…It just doesn’t trickle on down. Wish it did, but it doesn’t,” Jochum said. “I always say: ‘Greed gets in the way.'”

And Jochum said an immediate billion dollar reduction in state taxes means the State of Iowa might wind up like Kansas and Oklahoma did after “disastrous tax cut plans” were enacted in those states.

“Kansas had to repeal their trickle-down tax cut because they were running into so many problems just meeting essential needs, like educating children,” Jochum said, “and Oklahoma is now looking at raising taxes because their school system is now down to four days a week.”

Jochum said here in Iowa, the budgets in “nearly every part o state government” have already been “slashed” and there is “no sign the situation will be improving next year” when the Senate GOP tax plan would take effect.

A subcommittee meeting on the Senate Republicans’ proposal is scheduled for early tomorrow morning and debate of the bill in the Senate Ways and Means Committee is scheduled for later Thursday.