Why are we asking our university students to pay more tuition and our property owners to pay more property tax to support K-12 schools? Is it due to lack of revenue?
The 2016 Iowa Legislature passed taxed coupling at a cost of $97.6 million and reduced sales tax on manufacturing supplies at a cost of $29 million [Iowa Legislature OKs major tax policy bill, March 15]. These losses in tax revenue accompany "the biggest-ever tax cut in June 2013, which will cut $4 billion in property tax over a decade and $90 million annually in income tax.
Maybe if the governor and the Iowa House were using plain home budgeting like Iowans do, they would realize spending too much on tax breaks is increasing the costs of education to Iowans who cannot afford that increase.
Prior legislatures created revenue streams to support public education. This House leadership and governor are now "wondering" why the state universities need more money through a tuition increase and why K-12 schools are financially struggling. In March, Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal described the past six years as the worst ever for Iowas education funding, even worse than during the farm crisis of the 1980s and during a national recession in the 1970s."
A tuition increase is a tax on Iowans. An increase in property tax by K-12 schools, which will be needed, is a tax increase. The Legislature and the governor had the money, but chose to give it away. The governor and House leadership need some common economics instructed by the ballot box.
-- Michael Fritz, Coralville