Tax Reform for Iowans–It’s Complicated This Year

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Several things work in favor of the Iowa legislature passing tax reform before they adjourn for the year: Republicans hold the majority, it's an election year, and Congress already passed tax cuts on the federal level.

But several things work against a tax reform package, too. Some worry (and not just Democrats) that it isn't the right time for tax cuts, since lawmakers have had to agree to emergency mid-year spending cuts the past two years because revenues fell short of the spending plans they passed. The governor, House, and Senate have three different tax bills the contain different provisions, and a tax reform package likely means raising taxes in some areas in order to cut taxes in other areas.

On Monday morning, taxi drivers rallied against a proposal that would add a six percent tax increase on taxi rides, Uber trips, as well as online streaming services like Netflix.

"Every walk of life that's in our city is our customer base. It's not the rich. It's not just the poor. It's not just people going out on Friday and Saturday nights to see how much booze they can stomach," said Scott Karnowski, a tax driver for 16 years.

Governor Kim Reynolds supports the idea of raising taxes on certain services, if it is part of an overall effort to reduce taxes.

"I think it represents how individuals are buying products today. It modernizes the tax code," she said.

Tuesday is the final day lawmakers receive a daily allowance for food, travel, and housing for their time in Des Moines for the legislative session. That means on Wednesday it starts costing lawmakers, particularly those who live outside the Des Moines area, which often pressures them to start finding agreement on issues so the legislature can adjourn for the year.