DES MOINES, IOWA — New gains in the 2022 general election have given Republicans a supermajority in both the Iowa House and Senate, assuring the party can pass whatever it likes without any input from Democrats.
Republicans plan to use that new power to cut corporate taxes even further. And take another swing at private school vouchers, something that is at the top of the governor’s agenda.
“We will continue to explore ways to reduce the property tax burden in a meaningful way,” said Iowa Senate President Amy Sinclair, (R) from Allerton. “Keeping residential, agricultural, and commercial property taxes at a low rate with make Iowa more competitive in the nation’s economy.”
Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, (D) from Coralville vowed that Senate Democrats will want to participate in those property tax discussions. But his main concern was who would benefit the most from more cuts.
“Iowa can’t afford another tax giveaway to the ultrarich that shortchanges our families and communities. Senate Democrats will work with anyone on common-sense property tax reform, but we are not interested in tax giveaways that overwhelmingly benefit the ultrarich and big corporations,” said Wahls.
Sinclair started her opening day speech stating that the Senate Republicans will pass school vouchers legislation. Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, (R) from Grimes backed her commitment.
“Nobody knows a child better than their parents, and parents deserve a say in what is being taught in the classroom, and use their tax dollars to send their children to a school that best fits their needs,” said Whitver.
Senate Republicans view school vouchers as a chance for equality for students, whereas Democrats believe it will expand inequalities across the state.
“The Republican voucher scheme threatens to defund local schools. It will increase the teacher shortage in public education. It will magnify inequality. And it will hit rural communities the hardest, forcing more consolidation and driving more families away from our small towns,” said Wahls.
More details will be known after the Governor Reynolds’ Condition of the State address Tuesday night, and once property tax and school voucher bills are filed.