Today House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) called the governor’s plan to increase property taxes on Iowans the wrong direction.
“The governor signed the largest amount of spending in the history of Iowa and now that he can no longer sustain his bloated budget, he’s pushing a property tax increase onto the backs of Iowans,” said Paulsen.
With the governor’s recent across the board cut, he reduced the state funding for the K-12 foundation formula by $235 million. This is 10 percent of the amount the state promised school districts on a per pupil basis. However, this cut did not reduce the amount of spending authority districts have. Spending authority allows school districts to spend the allowed amount regardless of the amount of state aid. Ultimately, school districts have no place to find this money other than through increased property taxes.
Therefore, without the state government’s backfill of this money for K-12 education, Iowans will be saddled with an increase in their property taxes. This will happen even if school districts use available reserve funds because they will refill those reserves through property tax increases.
On December 1st, the governor stated he does not intend to restore any of his cuts to allowable growth and as a result, Iowans are now faced with a potential $540 million tax increase for Fiscal Year 2011.
“Iowans do not need higher property taxes, they need real leadership from their elected officials and willingness to dive into budgets and find real efficiencies,” said Paulsen. “House Republicans will continue our efforts to do just that. We will not support raising Iowans’ taxes.”