Vander Plaats: I’d Veto Democrats’ Class Warfare Plan to Raise Taxes “in a Heartbeat”

DES MOINES – Bob Vander Plaats, a Sioux City Republican who was his party’s lieutenant governor nominee in 2006, said he would veto Democratic plans to burden more than 450,000 Iowans with news taxes by stripping away their right and ability to deduct their federal taxes on state returns.

“Legislative Democrats budget and tax policies are out of control and they need a governor who will get them back in line. Chet Culver doesn’t stand up to them or stand up for average Iowans, but I will. As governor, I’d veto this bill in a heartbeat,” Vander Plaats said at a Statehouse news conference. “My question to Chet Culver is: Will he step up and veto this bill after promising not to raise taxes on hard-working Iowans?”

He continued, “Just last week, House Speaker Pat Murphy said by ending federal deductibility ’75 to 80 percent of all Iowans will see a tax cut.’ Those were his exact words. According to the Democrats’ own documents, 450,292 Iowans will be ‘losers’ under this plan compared to 667,314 that will supposedly see more money. Pat Murphy and his Democratic colleagues need a math lesson. More importantly, they need an economics lesson. Raising taxes on hundreds of thousands of Iowans is going to drive successful people and companies out of state or completely out of business.”

Vander Plaats, who formed a 2010 gubernatorial campaign committee in January, was flanked by his state chair, state Rep. Jodi Tymeson, state Sen. Randy Feenstra, Osceola business owner Tony Caligiuri and Des Moines contractor Harry Elder.

Tymeson, a five-term legislator from Winterset, said, “This plan to declare class warfare on successful Iowans is right in line with Barack Obama’s promise to punish producers by raising taxes on Americans who produce jobs. When you punish productivity and hinder wealth, the ripple effect is not tax relief for the middle class. Instead, it is lost employment and, ultimately, much higher taxes on those few who choose to remain in a state that is hostile towards productivity.”

Caligiuri, who is has owned and guided several Iowa businesses, scoffed at claims that eliminating federal deductibility will end confusion for out-of-state executives who are scared away by tax comparisons that suggest Iowa’s rates are uncompetitive.

“To suggest that a business executive can’t and doesn’t understand real tax rates shows either tremendous lack of knowledge about the private sector or a deliberate attempt to mislead the public,” Caligiuri said.

Vander Plaats said he’s convinced Democrats’ attempt to eliminate the deduction of federal taxes is only the first step of a deliberate strategy to raise individual tax rates in future years. “They’ll hit hundreds of thousands of Iowans with higher state taxes next year and then they’ll come back and do it again by raising tax rates in the future. This demonstrates the need to require a super majority of legislators or a vote of Iowans before tax rates are raised. That will be one of my priorities as governor,” he said.

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