Earlier this week, the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA) released a new report showing Iowa’s receipts for the month of July are down six percent over a year ago ˆ a number that amounts to roughly $23 million dollars. LSA showed personal income tax collections are down 6.1% over last July and corporate income tax revenues dropped by 42.1%. The report also shows a $40 million increase in sales tax collections to the state, but this is simply the result of the final implementation of the state takeover of the penny sales tax for school infrastructure. Those tax dollars come into the state and every dollar is immediately refunded to the school infrastructure account. Those dollars are not net new dollars to the state government available for state general fund expenditures.
Even though the LSA numbers accurately reported a slight dip in revenue to the state, Governor Culver, using his own budgeting tactics, proclaimed that revenues to the state actually increased by $4.7 million dollars. Unfortunately, Governor Culver included the school infrastructure money that cannot be spent for general fund purposes in his calculations and therefore is misleading the taxpayers of Iowa about the true fiscal picture of the state. With record deficits looming as a result of unbridled spending, Iowans need to be presented with all the facts ˆ not more partisan spin - so they can make informed decisions about which direction their elected officials should proceed.
To get Iowa’s economy moving in the right direction, Senate Republicans have offered and proposed bold solutions that will make our state more competitive, more friendly to creating jobs and allow Iowans to keep more of their hard earned money. Iowans expert a straightforward and transparent government that reflects the wishes of the people it is supposed to represent.
As the summer begins to wind down, as students and teachers head back to school, as families take a few days to get away on a vacation or head to the state fair, we are again reminded how lucky we are to live in Iowa where people are hardworking and independent and our towns and cities value that core Midwestern sense of community that makes our state so unique. Amidst some of the challenging economic times facing this state, there is a great reason to be optimistic about the future.