A proposal advancing in the Iowa Senate would amend the Iowa constitution to make it more difficult to raise income taxes. The amendment would require any income tax increase to be approved by a two-thirds super majority in the House and Senate.
Republican Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City says the requirement would help Iowa be more competitive with South Dakota, which does not have a state income tax.
“In our part of the state we have seen so many jobs drive across the river and take all their tax revenue with them because we don’t have any competitive footing on taxes with South Dakota,” Carlin says.
Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says it would make it harder for lawmakers to raise the income tax in order to cut other taxes, like the state sales tax.
“This piece of legislation would protect the wealthiest individuals in our state from paying their fair share,” Dotzler says.
If the proposal clears five other hurdles in the legislature this year, it would still have to be approved again by the legislature sometime in the following two years before Iowans could vote on it in 2022.
In 1999, Iowa voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have limited state spending. In 2010, Iowa voters approved an amendment setting up a new state water conservation and outdoor recreation fund, to be filled the next time the sales tax is raised.
(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Grant Gerlock)