AFSCME Iowa Council 61 - Every Day. Everywhere. Making Iowa Better.

Legislative Update: April 13, 2015

A Quick Guide to the State Budget, Education Funding, and Tax Credits
Today, State Senator Joe Bolkcom and Brad Hudson of the Iowa State Education Association held a “Moral Mondays” event to explain some key information about the state budget, education funding, and tax credits.
Here are some of the key points from their presentation:

  • The State of Iowa has a lot of funds in the bank. When you combine Iowa’s “Rainy Day” funds with the carry forward of surplus, the state has well over a billion dollars in the bank.
  • There is a healthy amount of funds available for education funding and other government services. The expenditure limitation calculated by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency minus existing appropriations and the estimated cost of a supplemental for Medicaid equals $365.5 million; more twice what Iowa House Republicans claim is available.
  • Iowa House Republicans’ math does not add up. Iowa House Republicans claim only $181 million is available for additional spending; however, they proposed a tax cut that would cost $482 million.
  • Iowa has a large number of tax credits that cost Iowans significantly. Iowa has over 40 tax credits that will cost the State an estimated $404 million in the upcoming fiscal year. While some of these credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, do valuable and worthy things; as a whole, they receive nowhere near the scrutiny that appropriated spending receives from the legislature. Some of these tax credits go to some of the wealthiest corporations. These credits should receive more scrutiny before education funding is short changed.

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