The tax cut proposals barreling through the Iowa Legislature will chop state services, especially education. Cuts passed by the Iowa Senate, with Sen. Roby Smith’s support, would slash revenue by $1 billion per year, taking away $1 of every $7 now collected.
Imagine our school system after laying off one in every seven teachers and administrators. Education represents over half the Iowa budget, so it will not be spared in these cuts. How many schools will be closed? How many rural districts will be forced to consolidate? After slicing support for community colleges and universities, who will train the workers our businesses need?
The governor’s proposal cuts 10 percent, $1 of every $10. But it does not cut taxes for businesses, so count on those cuts coming in round two yet to be announced. Republicans say that if they don’t act, Iowa income taxes will increase, due to Federal deductibility. But that is just a smoke screen. Iowa tax cuts passed by the Senate are 10-times the size of those potential increases. What is the hurry? Kansas tried this recipe in 2012 and found its taste repulsive. Crippling our public schools will make Iowa a less attractive place to live, less appealing to businesses. These cuts will hurt our people and our economy. Stop.