Republican Senator Releases His "Dream Tax Bill"

Feb 26, 2018

Gov. Kim Reynolds has said a major overhaul of the Iowa tax code is important to her this legislative session. The Senate has released its plan. IPR Morning Edition Host Clay Masters talks with Joyce Russell about what to expect this week at the capitol.

Republican Sen.Randy Feenstra has released his dream bill, but it likely won’t become law. Sen. Feenstra has “labored in the trenches as a ranking minority member on the Ways and Means Committee,” Russell says. “Now his party is in charge and he proposes what he calls a very bold tax cut bill.” It cuts taxes by a billion dollars a year.

The House will be working at a slower pace than the Senate on a tax bill. Unlike last year’s public sector collective bargaining rights rollback bill, the House and Senate are moving at different paces. The House is working off Gov. Kim Reynolds’s tax plan which is significantly less extensive. The House would be the only chamber that would hold any kind of a public hearing on its bill.

A battle that pits banks versus credit unions is shaping up at the statehouse. Credit unions are non-profits and for several years now, banks have been arguing they should be taxed similarly. Credit unions have been able to stave that off but banks are stepping up their game with TV ads this year. Sen. Feenstra’s tax cut bill raises taxes on credit unions.

The House is moving forward with a comprehensive mental health bill. “(The plan) incorporates the recommendations of The Department of Human Services Working Group,” Russell says. “There are lots of ideas for expanding services for the mentally ill.” It adds a new section spelling out when a mental health profession may disclose information about a patient to law enforcement personnel, including if it appears the patient intends to carry out a threat of violence to a specific person or persons.