Iowa Senate GOPers seek deeper income tax cuts

DES MOINES — On the first day of the 2020 Iowa legislative session, Republican leaders in the Iowa Senate called for more income tax cuts. Two years ago, the Republican-led legislature passed the largest state income tax cut in state history. Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver of Ankeny said it’s time to cut more.

“We can continue to do more to simplify and make taxes lower, fairer and more efficient,” Whitver said yesterday during a speech on the Senate floor, “but the ultimate goal is to ensure that people who work hard for their money are going to keep more of it.”

Senate President Charles Schneider, a Republican from West Des Moines, said state income taxes are gradually being reduced through the legislature’s 2018 action, but they’re still too high.

“The more we can lower income taxes the sooner Iowans will be able to pay off student loans, buy a home, start a family, save for their childrens’ education or put aside money for retirement,” Schneider said during his opening day speech T

he top Democrat in the Senate called for guaranteeing paid family leave for Iowa workers. Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen of Des Moines said the state’s unemployment rate may be low, but too many Iowans who are working are paid too little.

“Let’s raise the minimum wage and end welfare practices that prop up low-wage employers who trap Iowans in chronic poverty,” Petersen said in her opening day speech.

House Minority Leader Todd Prichard of Charles City suggested he and other Democrats in the House will call for a significant increase in state spending on Iowa’s public schools.

“Democrats understand that to build a better future and grow our workforce, we must educate the children and students of today to work and lead the state tomorrow,” Prichard said on the  House floor.

In addition, Prichard said House Democrats will offer proposals to address Iowa’s housing shortage.