Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 24, 2018 Iowans are tired of politics as usual
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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We wrapped up the 2018 legislative session recently after a very busy week. This session we heard from thousands of Iowans who are working hard but still struggling to get by because of stagnant wages, higher health care costs and fewer dollars going to job training, public education and public safety.

Iowans don’t ask for much, but we are all tired of politics as usual. We just want a decent paying job and the chance to lead a happy, healthy life.

In the end, a $7.28 billion budget was approved for fiscal year 2019.

Since the state budget has been in deficit for two years in a row, Republican leaders at the statehouse struggled to balance the state budget while paying back the $144 million in debt they had to borrow last year.

The impact of the latest round of budget cuts will be felt hardest by Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens, as well as students at community colleges and state universities. Lawmakers knew the cuts would be needed since last fall, but waited until the final months of the state’s fiscal year to approve them.

Many of the budgets funded programs less that they did in the past, and while there were some positives, much of the finding was simply just trying to get back to levels before the budget cuts.

Many Iowans expressed concern that public schools will receive another historically low increase in state funding next year while GOP lawmakers approved a massive new tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy. In addition to budget cuts, homeowners and farmers will be paying higher property taxes and a new sales tax for online purchases next year to pay for the new tax breaks approved this year.

Hardworking Iowans who craft a budget every month for their family know and expect lawmakers to use the same principles that they do every month. Republican lawmakers have failed to live up to the expectations of Iowans, by running the state’s budget on a credit card and putting corporate tax cuts before everyday Iowans.

On the last day of session, Republican lawmakers pushed through a $2.7 billion tax proposal that disproportionately benefits the wealthy and special interests. The bill came in spite of the fact the governor and legislative leaders were forced to put $144 million on the state’s credit card last year to balance the state budget and had made millions in budget cuts just weeks earlier in session.

The bill implements new taxes on streaming services like Netflix, digital products like phone apps and an internet sales tax on purchases from places like eBay.

The Republican tax changes do nothing to rein in corporate tax giveaways. The bill has nearly $500 million in new tax breaks for corporations in the state. The bill heavily favors millionaires who will get a tax cut of $8,774 while everyday Iowans get just $50 on average income tax reductions while having to pay for new taxes on things like online purchases.

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