Speaker Upmeyer’s Weekly Newsletter

UTGD

A win for taxpayers

The second funnel deadline is behind us and with much of our policy work complete, attention will now turn to the state budget.  House Republicans will continue to practice fiscal discipline by spending less than the state collects and not using one-time funding to pay for ongoing expenses.  These common sense principles have served the state well and put Iowa in solid financial footing.

This week finally brings some good news for taxpayers.  The House and Senate have an agreement in place to halt a $95 million tax increase by coupling with the federal tax code.  Coupling benefits thousands upon thousands of Iowa taxpayers, 177,000 in 2014 alone.  In addition, it keeps more money in the pockets of people that we all know like farmers, teachers, small businesses, homeowners, and college students, just to name a few.  House Republicans have pressed for this since the beginning of this year’s session.

In addition, the agreement includes a provision that codifies a sales tax exemption for materials that are used in manufacturing.  Known as “consumables,” this provision ensures that the state is not unfairly taxing supplies and replacement parts during the manufacturing process.  Under the current law, this often amounts to a double taxation on manufacturers.

For too long, ambiguity in the code led to inconsistent interpretations by the Department of Revenue based on the state’s revenue needs.  This led to confusion in the manufacturing community and an unnecessary burden on businesses.  By codifying this exemption, manufacturers are given a clear and consistent definition of what is subject to sales tax.

Both of these proposals are included in House File 2433, which passed the House Ways & Means Committee on Thursday.  The bill could be debated in both chambers as early as next week.

This agreement provides certainty to thousands of Iowa taxpayers and ensures that Iowans are not faced with an unexpected tax increase.  This agreement also allows us to follow through on our commitment of funding the priorities of Iowans.  At the end of the day, the taxpayers are the real winners with this agreement.

Thanks to all of the Iowans who went to forums, called or emailed their state legislators, and made their voices heard about how important this was to get done.  House Republicans trust that Iowans know how to invest their own money and believe the more that’s left in their pockets is for the best.

With these two critical issues resolved and the revenue situation clearer, I’m optimistic that things like education funding and the overall budget picture can be determined soon.

As always, please keep in touch.  As legislation is moving forward, feel free to send me comments, questions, or feedback that you may have regarding issues before us in the House. I can be reached at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or (515) 281-3521.

 

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