House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) commented on the across the board cuts and resulting tax increases which Gov. Culver made today.
“Today the governor raised property taxes,” said Paulsen. “The result of this across the board cut is higher property taxes for Iowans. A tax increase that could have been avoided by better management of the state budget. The governor is pushing his out-of-control spending problem on to the backs of Iowans.”
Among other things, an across the board cut reduces the state funding for the K-12 foundation formula. This is the amount the state provides school districts on a per pupil basis. If the state does not provide its statutory share, school districts have three options: cut spending, use reserves or raise property taxes. As a result of his actions, hard-working Iowans could see their property taxes increase as much as $245 million.
During the 2009 legislative session, House Republicans offered over $330 million in cost-saving measures. Nearly all were rejected by legislative Democrats. Also rejected by Democrats was a searchable budget database accessible to Iowans that allows them see how the state is spending taxpayer dollars. Paulsen points to Republican’s targeted and meaningful budget efficiencies as more responsible than resorting to haphazard across the board cuts.
“The governor should instead look at cost-saving measures to eliminate unnecessary and wasteful government spending,” said Paulsen. “House Republicans will continue to offer sensible solutions and reduce spending rather than asking the taxpayers to pick up the tab.”