Vander Plaats: Culver, Democrats Took Advantage of Flood Victims to Tax, Spend More

SIOUX CITY – The failure of Gov. Chet Culver and legislative Democrats to mesh the state’s tax code with federal disaster relief provisions was “simply a way to take money from people who had already suffered far too much,” Sioux City Republican Bob Vander Plaats said today.

In a story published in today’s edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, state Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, said his party did not adopt the appropriate federal tax laws because the state would have taken in $56 million less in this fiscal year. Although Democrats refused to consider a GOP proposal to reduce spending by $300 million, McCoy said action to spare Iowans from the higher taxes was “a hit to the budget that, frankly, was not an option.” As a result, many Iowa flood victims who filed their state taxes early will be forced to repay refunds that were based on the federal guidelines.

“Where was Chet Culver when this was happening? Was he simply asleep at the switch again or did he go along with the plan to feed his voracious spending habit?” Vander Plaats asked. “When he signed the state budget into law, he effectively said to thousands of flood victims that he was going to balance the state budget on their backs. It was simply a way to take money from people who had already suffered too much to pay for his bloated government that consistently does less with more.”

He added, “This is the clearest evidence yet that state government doesn’t have a revenue problem; Chet Culver has a spending problem. When Senator McCoy is willing to admit that his party didn’t couple the state tax code with federal disaster relief provisions because it was ‘a hit to the budget’ that tells Iowans that we need leadership that going to look out for them rather than pick their pockets when they’ve been knocked down by a natural disaster.”

Vander Plaats said the episode also demonstrates the need to make our state’s tax structure simpler. “We’re long overdue for tax reform that helps Iowa’s working families and the people who create jobs. We’re never going to get that on Chet Culver’s watch but it will be a priority for my administration,” he said.
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