DES MOINES (AP) — House Republicans proposed Wednesday to divert money into a fund that would be returned to Iowa taxpayers.
Most Republicans signed onto the measure assigned to the Ways and Means Committee that would increase government allocations to a so-called Taxpayer Trust Fund.
State law now requires 10 percent of a budget surplus to go toward cash reserve and emergency funds.
The proposal would direct any additional money into the trust fund, which could be credited back to taxpayers.
Those who paid an individual income tax in 2012 would be eligible for a credit in 2014.
Rep. Steve Olson, R-De Witt, said locking the entire budget surplus into the trust fund shouldn't step on education and other reforms proposed by Gov. Terry Branstad.
“It's one-time money that should be viewed and used as a one-time expense,” said Olson, the Ways and Means Committee chairman.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen said the measure shows Republicans want any “overpayment of tax dollars” to be returned to residents.
The measure could pass the House, where Republicans hold a majority, but likely would face problems in the Senate, controlled by Democrats.
Budget Director Dave Roederer said that property taxes are the governor's No. 1 priority this year but that Branstad also thinks income taxes are too high.
Another measure proposed by House Republicans would create a constitutional amendment requiring a higher majority vote in the Legislature to pass tax increases and bonding programs such as I-Jobs.
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