- The forty-five percent increase in the gas tax was approved by both chambers today.
- Tax increase goes to Republican Governor Branstad
- Americans for Prosperity urges veto
- Local legislators voted as set forth below
State House vote according to the Des Moines Register( DMR)
The House approved the gas tax bill on a 53-46 vote. Voting “Yes” were 30 Republicans and 23 Democrats. Voting “No” were 26 Republicans and 20 Democrats. Rep. Chip Baltimore, R-Boone, did not vote.
House members from Scott County supporting the BILLION dollar over five 5 years, 45% gas tax increase bill:
Republican Linda Miller, Bettendorf
Democrats Jim Lykam, Davenport and Cindy Winckler, Davenport
House members from Scott County opposing the gas tax increase in favor of alternative funding approaches:
Republican Ross Paustian, Walcott and Democrat Phyllis Thede, Bettendorf
State Senate vote according to the DMR
The Senate approved the gas tax bill, Senate File 257, on a 28-21 vote. Voting “Yes” were 12 Republicans and 16 Democrats. Voting “No” were 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Sen. Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa, was excused and did not vote.
State Senators from Scott County supporting the BILLION dollar over five 5 years, 45% gas tax increase bill:
Senators opposing the tax increase in favor of alternative funding approaches:
Republican Roby Smith and Democrat Joe Seng
A complete listing of how Iowa legislators voted on the 45% gas tax increase can be found at this link to the Des Moines Register. Other excerpts from the DMR report:
. . . Rep. Greg Heartsill, R-Columbia, who voted against the bill, complained it was being considered without proper scrutiny, raising questions about the process.
“Something seems suspiciously wrong…It’s almost as if it has been choreographed. Because of the way this bill has been rammed through, there’s an odiferous cloud that will hang over the legislature long after this vote,” Heartstill said. . . .
Drew Klein, state director of Americans for Prosperity, issued a statement after the House and Senate votes expressing disappointment and he accused lawmakers of using “extreme tactics” to win approval for the tax increase. He was apparently referring to a decision last week by House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, to remove two anti-tax Republicans from a key committee to ensure the bill would advance to the Senate floor.
Klein said he would urge Branstad to veto the gas tax increase, contending that special interests were the winners on Tuesday, not Iowa taxpayers.
It was tax increase opponent Jake Highfill (R-Johnston) and Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) who were removed in a heavy-handed manner from the House Ways and Means Committee by Republican Speaker Paulsen and replaced with himself and Brian Moore (R-Zwingle), both supporters of the increase. Speaker Paulsen is also corporate counsel to CRST, a Cedar Rapids trucking firm in support of the tax increase.
Conservative tax policy organizations opposed the increase as did fuel retailers and the general tax paying public. Road building interests and truck transportation consortiums supported the tax increases as did the Iowa Farm Bureau. Support was for obvious reasons of concentrated gain and diffuse pain or to head off alternative road repair funding formulations that would have been more focused on imputed costs and benefits to their association members. We agree with Klein that special interests were the winners today.
We would add that the losers, besides ordinary families, and local retailers that will see lost business to Illinois, includes the Republican brand, because of its heavy-handed tax increasing leadership and lack of alternative due diligence on display by some caucus members.
Thanks to VM for monitoring the vote today on behalf of V’pac.com and others who stood up to be counted in forums.