DES MOINES (AP) — A Republican proposal to use Iowa's budget surplus for tax credits drew criticism Wednesday from Democrats, who argued that the money should go to programs or services.
A House subcommittee discussed Republican-sponsored legislation that would use the state's surplus funds to provide credits to taxpayers. Rep. Peter Cownie, R-West Des Moines, said that individual taxpayers would get income tax credits of up to $369. He said the plan would cost more than $500 million and called it the best way to deal with the state's roughly $800 million surplus.
But Democrats said it would be better to spend on services and infrastructure.
“I could identify a number of one-time expenses, like construction projects, that really would address some very critical infrastructure needs. I just think that's a much better use of those dollars,” said Rep. Sally Stutsman, D-Hills.
One co-sponsor of the tax credits bill, Rep. Ralph Watts, R-Adel, said this proposal keeps the state on a conservative fiscal path, which has been a priority for Republicans. He said he didn't view the plan as a political gesture to appeal to voters.
The bill received approval at the subcommittee level in the Republican-controlled House. It will now go to the full committee for deliberation.
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