(Radio Iowa) The 2022 Iowa legislative session starts next Monday and Governor Kim Reynolds and her fellow Republicans in the House and Senate are putting tax cuts the top of their agenda. Majority Leader Jack Whitver of Ankeny is the top Republican in the Senate.

“We’re shooting to make another big reduction in the taxes that Iowans pay,” Whitver says, “and we want to continue to make us one of the most competitive states in the country.” Whitver and Governor Reynolds say their goal is generational tax change, with their ultimate goal being the elimination of the Iowa income tax.

“Iowa is really in a strong position and that’s after record investments in foundational priorities, tax cuts,” Reynolds says. “We still have a significant, healthy balance that we’ve overcollected and it’s time to turn that money back to the taxpayers.” That’s a reference to the more than one BILLION dollars in the state’s Taxpayer Relief Fund. It’s the accumulation of tax payments that were way above official estimates over the past couple of years. House Speaker Pat Grassley says that money should be returned to Iowans as quickly as possible, and the plan should not pick winners and losers.

“I don’t think we need some huge, complex tax conversation,” Grassley says. “I think we can do this in a way that we give significant relief and do it so we all understand it and Iowans understand it.” House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights says she and her fellow Democrats will release their own tax plan.

“To make sure that any kind of a tax cut helps middle class families the most,” Konfrst says. Zach Wahls of Coralville, the Democratic leader in the Iowa Senate, says Republicans wouldn’t have been able to cut taxes if the federal government hadn’t provided Iowa with a sizable amout of pandemic relief.

“The idea that we’re going to spend these one time dollars on a permanent elimination of the income tax — it’s like drilling a hole in a sinking boat,” Wahls says. “It doesn’t make sense.” The official estimate for the current fiscal year indicates just over half of all the taxes paid to the State of Iowa will come from personal income taxes.


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