Gas Tax increase up for Iowa House vote Tuesday

We are told that Republican Scott County Supervisors Tom Sunderbruch and Carol Earnhardt made a pilgrimage to Des Moines recently to lobby for increasing gas taxes.  At a meeting prior to the swearing-in of new board members elected in November the Scott County Board is reported to have voted in support of participating in the association of county government officials lobbying to increase the tax.  The legislator reporting the visit  said they supported the tax because it was necessary to avoid additional bonding for roads.

Iowans for Tax Relief (ITR)  a decades old respected lobbying organization has responded to the bonding issue as being a red hearing. According to ITR

Counties’ bonding for roads can’t be stopped until the formula is changed to give counties a fair share. Iowans for Tax Relief strong ly opposes bonding for roads; let’s pay as we go. Gas tax promoters say they want to stop county roads bonding, but the restrict ion in their bill is a sham; counties could do more bonding if the bonds are repaid during the project’s useful life. The tax increase bill would give counties only a tiny increase. It would not stop bonding. It probably would promote more bonding by giving counties a small increase to start projects but not enough to finish them.

ITR maintains that proponents have not established a case for increasing the gas tax.  More information is available by visiting their Web site Iowans for Tax Relief.

We are astonished that legislators from Eastern Iowa would consider raising fuel taxes hurting local businesses and especially gas retailers.  Local businesses enjoy both less fuel cost directly and increased business from Illinois residents who make it a point to jump across the river to take advantage of lower fuel prices here and shop at our stores. The fuel cost incentive will end if the ill-conceived  tax increase passes as costs will be about the same. Gas retailers on this side of the river ought to be burning up the phone lines to Des Moines.

Davenport Alderman Bill Edmond made a similar point while on the Jim Fisher Talk Radio show this afternoon. His comment was essentially: when you go to Des Moines to increase gas taxes and take away the competitive edge Eastern Iowa has on Illinois gas retailers, and our local cost of living, you are hurting our cities and people here.

Republican State Representative Linda Miller  of Bettendorf  sits on the House Ways and Means Committee. She voted to move the bill to the floor for a vote rather than hold it in committee for the work necessary to make it a more comprehensive bill to thoroughly revise Iowa’s road funding as lobbied by Iowans for Tax Relief.  Her response to  constituent Dr Tom Nelson is that she thought the bill deserved debate.  The typically pungent response from Dr Tom:

Are you going to vote to destroy the competitive advantage vendors have
in the border counties to bring lower cost goods to customers on both sides of
the river?

At this writing we are unaware of Representative Miller’s response regarding final passage. Republican State Representative Ross Paustian opposes the gas tax increase. State Senator Roby Smith also opposes an increase in gas taxes.

A question that might be poised to Scott County Supervisors who are willing to travel to raise taxes on constituents: “are you going to go to Springfield to get them to raise their taxes to benefit our retailers or will you go their to get them to lower their taxes so we can get cheaper gas over there?”

The link provided at the top of the page is to Americans for Prosperity, Iowa Chapter.  It provides an easy to use contact interface with a pre-drafted message. The Iowans for Tax Relief link also provides contact information as does our page bar.

R Mall


1 Response to Gas Tax increase up for Iowa House vote Tuesday

  1. Roy Munson says:

    It passed. Too bad we didn’t have elected Republicans statewide to stop this, oh wait….

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