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House and Senate Pass Tax Reform Bill on Last Day of the Session

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Lawmakers were hard at work in hopes of ending a very long legislative session on Saturday.

“The goal of what we tried to do when we entered session was to put the money back in the pockets of Iowans, which I hope that we would all agree should be a priority and do this in a fiscally responsible manner,” Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said

Republican lawmakers said they’ve gotten closer to that goal by passing the tax reform bill in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Supporters of the bill said these changes were needed because of tax reform at the federal level.

“Anyone voting against that bill is saying they support a tax increase for Iowans. Because, federal deductibility in the framework of the federal tax cuts means Iowans are going to pay higher taxes. That’s just a fact. So if we do nothing, Iowan spay more. Why would we want Iowans to pay more?” Rep. Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, said.

Democratic lawmakers said this bill is unfair to everyday Iowans and favors the wealthy.

“Millionaires get an average tax break of $8,774, while working families making under $60,000, get just $56,” Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshall, said.

Supporters disagree and said this bill was actually weighted toward middle class families.

“People pay different amount of taxes based on their income and how the tax applies to them. In the actual dollars it maybe less, but as a percent of their tax obligation, that really misrepresents it,” Rep. Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, said.

Now that the session is over the bill is on it’s way to the governor’s desk.

“So it’s up to the governor to decide whether this is something the state can actually afford. All indications are the last tax cut that was passed in 2013 had a fundamental impact on our state going bankrupt and this costs twice as much over the same period of time. We already know what the end result is going to be and it’s going to be something that most families don’t receive an income tax relief and also it’s going to decimate and bankrupt our state even further,” Rep. Chris Hall, D-Sioux City, said.

Republican lawmakers said they are confident they will have the money to fund priorities.

“We know that we can as we move forward we can still fund our priorities and have the Iowans getting the money that they deserve back in their paychecks,” Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said

Governor Kim Reynolds released a statement shortly after the bill passed saying, “"Republicans led on tax reform in 2018. As a result, hardworking, middle class Iowa families, farmers, small business owners and workers get meaningful relief, all while Iowa's budget priorities in future years are protected."

The Senate passed it with a 28-20 vote and the House passed it with a 54-32 vote.