Scheetz: Tax cuts for all Iowans, not just the wealthy

Rep. Sami Scheetz, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids

By Guest Post

May 10, 2024

State Rep. Sami Scheetz says all Iowans should benefit from tax cuts via a sales tax reduction

As a state representative, my job is to serve the needs of all Iowans and to ensure that our state’s tax policies benefit everyone—not just the wealthy. That’s why I’ve proposed legislation with my fellow Democrats to reduce the state sales tax by one cent.

Higher sales taxes largely impact lower-income families and Iowans on fixed incomes. When there’s less money to go around, tough decisions have to be made: do you purchase school supplies for your kids or personal hygiene care for yourself? This kind of pressure on Iowa families is unsustainable and it’s wrong. Unfortunately, in Kim Reynolds’ Iowa, it’s by design.

Recent changes to Iowa’s tax policy have primarily favored wealthy Iowans who can afford lobbyists to spend time at the State Capitol in Des Moines. Iowa’s income tax was already set to drop to under 4% by 2026, but for the wealthiest Iowans and corporations, it just wasn’t fast enough. You can probably guess what happened: Gov. Kim Reynolds just signed a new law to speed up those cuts for the wealthiest Iowans, dropping them to 3.8% by next year and dipping into Iowa’s taxpayer relief fund to make up the revenue.

Instead of forcing all of us to put money into the pockets of well-connected rich people in Des Moines, Iowa Democrats’ proposal to cut the sales tax by one cent will benefit every Iowan. It’s pretty simple: if you only have a dollar, 7 cents is a bigger chunk of your overall budget than the person who has a hundred dollars. By making each dollar stretch a little further, working and middle-class Iowans and people on fixed incomes will spend a smaller portion of their limited income on everyday goods.

The tax policy enacted by Gov. Reynolds and the Republicans in Des Moines is estimated to reduce state revenues by more than $1 billion over the first three years. The resulting shortfall will require cuts to basic services for Iowans who rely on them or will require increased sales and property taxes to make up the difference.

Iowa Republicans claim that their tax cuts are transformative and beneficial to all Iowans, but the reality is that many will be left behind as they continue to struggle with rising costs of living. Our proposed sales tax cut helps everyone. The proposal is simple: it’s a tax cut for 100% of Iowans —especially those of us who can’t afford a lobbyist in Des Moines.

I’m a proud Democrat, but I was sent to Des Moines to serve all of the residents of my district. All over our state, I meet Iowans who are Republicans, Democrats, and independents—each of whom are committed to the principles of basic fairness. They want elected officials who put people over politics. That’s why Democrats are fighting for policies that promote economic fairness, human decency, and a government that is as good as its people. We’ll continue to show up everywhere and meet folks where they are—and we’ll work with anyone to build a more prosperous Iowa.

Sami Scheetz is a Democratic state representative from Cedar Rapids. You may reach him at [email protected].

CATEGORIES: POLITICS | OPINION

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