Governor breaks his ‘no tax increase’ pledge as his order will increase property taxes by $284 million
Strawn: Culver’s budget ax an indictment of his failed leadership
Des Moines, IA – Republican Party of Iowa State Chairman Matt Strawn today commented on Governor Culver’s order to a 10% across-the-board cut in state spending in response to a projected $400 million revenue shortfall for the current budget year. Strawn said, “Governor Culver has completely failed the citizens of Iowa. This devastating across-the-board cut could and should have been avoided and his decision today only postpones the truly difficult work that must be done to fundamentally change the way our state government does business.
“The Governor acts as if these horrific revenue numbers are a surprise. Yet, who didn’t know this state was facing a serious recession last March and April when Culver and majority Democrats in the Legislature ignored our repeated warnings and passed the largest spending budget in Iowa’s history. This budget crisis is no surprise to anyone who was paying attention and the Governor’s use of his budget ax is an indictment of his failed leadership,” said Strawn.
In ordering his across-the-board spending cut, Culver decided against calling the Legislature back for a Special Session to attempt to balance the budget through more thoughtful, targeted budget reductions.
In addition, due to the way various property tax credits are funded and the method in which the state’s school finance formula works, an across-the-board spending reduction of this size will actually trigger a potential property tax increase of $284 million.
Strawn said, “Governor Culver has repeatedly said he would not raise taxes to balance the state’s budget. Apparently he doesn’t understand how our state budget functions. When you issue an across-the-board cut it reduces property tax credits and the state’s share of K-12 education funding and, thus, local property taxes will rise to fill the gap. This broken pledge is just one more example of Culver’s repeated failure to be honest with Iowans about the problems we face.
“The Governor has spent the last four months assuring Iowans all was right with the budget and, due to his I-JOBS program, recovery was underway. Unfortunately, this is not the case and Culver has no one to blame but his own unwillingness to face reality, accept responsibility, and take the bold action that was necessary to prevent today’s terrible news,” concluded Strawn.