Tuesday, May 18, 2021

House Appropriations Committee approves House GOP tax plan

Early Monday morning, an Iowa House committee approved a bill containing a series of tax changes, but Republican Representative Gary Mohr acknowledges it may not include all the tax changes Senate Republicans want.

"As far as I know, it's in its final form," he says, "but at this stage of the session, I don't take that to the bank."

Senate Republicans voted in early April to use state tax dollars, rather than local property taxes, to finance the state's mental health system. House Republicans have so far resisted and the proposal is not included in the tax bill that cleared the House Appropriations Committee on Monday. House Speaker Pat Grassley says there are technical questions to figure out before the state takes over another social program. At mid-morning Monday, members of the legislature retreated into private meetings to discuss tax and spending issues. As is the custom, though, legislators began their day with public prayers on the House and Senate floor. Representative Steven Bradley, a Republican from Cascade, prayed in the House.

"God our heavenly Father, we come before you as we hopefully begin our last legislative action week," he said.

The prayer in the Senate from Republican Ken Rozenboom of Oskaloosa was less specific.

"We're here today to make decisions that affect all of our fellow Iowans," Rozenboom said. "It's my prayer that you will guide our conversations and our decisions."

Republicans hold a majority of seats in the Iowa House and Senate and decide what gets debated and passed in the legislature. Democrats say they support many of the concepts Republicans are discussing when it comes to spending and tax decisions, but they're being excluded from negotiations.

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