On the last day of session, Republican lawmakers pushed through a $2.7 billion tax proposal that disproportionately benefits the wealthy and special interests. The bill came in spite of the fact the Governor and legislative leaders were forced to put $144 million on the state’s credit card last year to balance the state budget and made millions in budget cuts just weeks earlier in session.
The bill implements several new taxes, including taxes on streaming services like Netflix, digital products like phone apps, and an internet sales tax on purchases from places like eBay. The revenue reductions will likely mean that Iowa families will also have to pay more in property taxes, tuition, and fees for government services to make up for the loss of revenue. The budget mess already means Iowans are being shortchanged with fewer services for victims of domestic violence, fewer nursing home inspections, and little for public schools.
The Republican tax changes also do nothing to rein in corporate tax giveaways. The bill also has nearly $500 million in new tax breaks for corporations in the state. The bill heavily favors millionaires who will get a tax cut of $8,774 while everyday Iowans get just $56 on average in income tax reductions while having to pay for new taxes on things like Hulu, Spotify, ebooks, Uber, and online purchases.