GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Corbett’s Quad-City Times Op-Ed was strong on party themes, short on sense. It incorrectly identified low unemployment as a symptom of economic stagnation, and the tax plan offered as a solution fails tests of logic and fairness.
He believes Iowa’s top tax rate of 9 percent drives people away. Then California at 13.3 percent should be a ghost state instead of the most populous. New York state at just a fraction less than Iowa should not be the third most populous. And, of course, the eight states with zero personal income tax should have the greatest populations, but except for Florida, they don’t. It takes more to attract people than low tax rates.
Iowa has consistently cut funding for education, kindergarten through college, which is in part why the governor is not only facing a shortage of workers qualified for existing jobs, but has a school system increasingly less able to attract businesses and people. Cuts to our parks, natural resource preservation, and infrastructure have made them also become less likely to attract newcomers.
A flat tax of 3 percent raises taxes on the lower three tax brackets while giving a 6 percent cut to the highest incomes. The 1 percent sales tax increase would be borne predominantly by the poor, who must spend and be taxed on most of their income each year. It would not come close to replacing the revenues lost by tax cuts, leading to further erosion of education, natural resources, and infrastructure. Plan fails.