DES MOINES - A plan Democrats say would reduce state income taxes for most Iowans is clinging to life after they changed it to win Gov. Chet Culver's support, according to House Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque.
Murphy said Wednesday he has 50 votes - one short of a majority - to pass House File 807, a plan to use the $505 million windfall from ending federal deductibility to drive down state income tax rates.
"We still do think we can get to 51 votes, so it's still a live round," Murphy said dismissing comments by members of his Democratic caucus the plan is dead. "Before the governor rewrote it, we had 52. We are optimistic that we will pass it yet this year."
Culver, who has repeatedly said he doesn't think raising taxes on Iowans during a recession is good policy, sought changes to make the plan benefit more Iowans. Originally, just shy of 50 percent of Iowa income tax filers would have seen their taxes go down. After Democrats raised standard deductions by about $1,000 and added a $100 refundable college student tax credit the plan was a $54 million tax cut.
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Culver is working with Democratic legislative leaders to find the votes to pass the tax bill, but a source close to those discussions said that, in the end, it is their priority, not the governor's.