Gov. Kim Reynolds | Facebook
In her Condition of the State address, Gov. Kim Reynolds said that Iowa is currently "truly strong," but asked lawmakers to consider the condition of the state for future Iowans.
"That kind of planning also takes a bold vision – a vision that preserves our heritage while seizing our opportunities,” she said.
Reynolds' proposal, the Invest in Iowa Act, calls for raising the state sales tax by one percent, which should, in turn, allow the state to cut income taxes by 10 percent for all taxpayers, up to 25 percent for low-income individuals.
“I have no interest in raising taxes, so any increase in revenue from a sales tax must be more than offset by additional tax cuts,” Reynolds said. “That starts with continuing to reduce our uncompetitive income-tax rates.”
Currently, property tax revenues fund county mental health services. Reynolds proposes cutting the property tax rate and funding 70 percent of those services with revenue from the state sales tax increase.
“By establishing a dedicated and stable fund for mental health, we will give hope to so many who are suffering in silence,” Reynolds said. “It’s a promise we’ve made, and it’s a promise I intend to keep.”
New sales tax money would also be held in a fund for water quality and outdoor recreation programs.
“These changes will make our vision a reality. It’s an investment in our future. And it’s an investment in those who are our future,” Reynolds said. “If we take this bold step, right now, then whoever is standing at this podium in 10, 20, or 30 years – Republican or Democrat – can proudly say what I can say today: The condition of our state is strong.”
The governor's state budget plan includes a 2.5 percent increase in funding for public K-12 schools and $20 million in flood relief.