A bill is quickly moving through the Iowa Legislature that would exempt veterans pension benefits from Iowa Income Tax. I appreciate the service and sacrifice that veterans have given to our country, but such a benefit should only be given to those veterans who are in need. Some veterans are millionaires. We don’t need to exempt their income from Iowa Income tax. The current bill should be amended to exempt pension payments received only for those veterans whose Adjusted Gross Income is less than $50,000 for individuals and $75,000 for married couples. Those with incomes above those levels can afford and should help to pay for services provided to Iowans by the State of Iowa..
Governor Brandstad said he is open to increasing the sales tax to improve water quality in Iowa. (Des Moines Register, 5/3/2016, “Branstad open to sales tax for water quality” – link below) Specifically, he wants to implement the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreations Trust Fund. Under the Iowa Constitutional amendment passed in 2010, the next three-eights of a penny increase in the sales tax must go to the Trust Fund. He suggested offsetting the tax increase by a decrease in the income tax – to make the change revenue neutral.
We all want clean water and nice recreation opportunities. But, what I don’t want is to pay farmers rent to not pollute. It appears that up to 50% of the tax collected could go to farmers to entice them to not pollute. The Constitutional amendment was a mistake. People want clean water and good recreational opportunities, but the way the Consitutional amendment was structured was a mistake. I think most Iowans voted their emotions, but would really not agree with the structure of the amendment. We need to repeal this amendment.