A recent article appears in many publications across the state recently. It says that Iowa’s Gov. Branstad is now onboard with supporting some of kind funding to support to the state’s roads and bridges infrastructure.
In the article some Democrats are quoted as somewhat optimistic in seeing a bipartisan approach to getting some kind of funding for replacing aging roads and bridges.
But then some Republicans are quoted that some Republicans are dead set against any kind of taxing to fix the deteriorating roads and bridges.
The article then talks about Republican opposition to any increase revenue raising to funding the repairs to the state’s infrastructure.
“Opposition gearing up
Iowa Rep. Josh Byrnes, R-Osage, has been a staunch advocate of raising the fuel tax in some way to raise more revenue for road repairs, sometimes bucking his party.
Byrnes, who is chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said he already is experiencing some of the backlash again.
“It’s interesting because some of our ultra-conservative groups are already coming out and saying that they’re going to fight this, and all that. And that’s just a ridiculous thing. It’s doing nothing but hurting the state of Iowa,” Byrnes said. “If there’s going to be some movement against funding our roads and bridges, I don’t understand that.”
It serves as a reminder that raising the gas tax remains unpopular in some circles. An Iowa Poll taken during the 2014 legislative session revealed a majority of Iowans opposed raising the gas tax. And former Republican Party of Iowa leadership also opposed a gas tax increase.”
So do these conservatives believe in Kansas’ Gov. Sam Brownback’s way of doing business? Cutting taxes to the point of affecting the state’s education and other needed basic services?
This piece says: “For all of the bluster by some lawmakers and conservative groups, Kansas does not have a spending problem. Whatever bad habits the state may have had in that regard were cured by the 2008 Great Recession. Nearly every aspect of government was cut back to the essentials.
Other states began restoring essential services when revenues began to rebound in recent years, but Kansas, urged on by Gov. Sam Brownback, opted for deep income tax cuts instead. Partners and owners of thousands of businesses structured as “pass-through” entity stopped paying income taxes altogether.
The result was supposed to have been economic growth, but instead it has been tumbling revenues. They dropped from $6.4 billion for the 2012 budget year, before the tax cuts took effect, to $5.6 billion last year. This year’s revenues are running only slightly ahead of a year ago, and the new estimate forecasts growth of only 0.7 percent growth next year, partly because more tax cuts are scheduled to take effect.
These revenue projections, and the cuts they foreshadow, will change the face of Kansas.
The $287 million required to balance this year’s budget cannot be found through “efficiencies,” as state budget director Shawn Sullivan told reporters today.
The state already is raiding its transportation fund and using gambling revenues to pay teacher pensions. It has shaken out every pocket and used every trick.”