Key Iowa State Senators Say No Gas Tax Hike This Year
Two key senators say the Iowa legislature will NOT approve a gas tax increase.
The state tax on gasoline and diesel fuel hasn’t been raised since 1989, but Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says 2013 isn’t the year for an increase. Bolkcom is chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which deals with tax policy. Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull is the top-ranking Republican on the committee and Feenstra says this is “not a good time” to raise the state gas tax with gas prices so high.
Advocates for a hike in the state gas tax held a rally at the statehouse this past week. Republican Governor Terry Branstad spoke at the rally and the governor said he’d be willing to sign a bill increasing the state gas tax, if legislators reduce commercial property taxes first. Bolkcom suggests that’s not a strong enough signal from Branstad.A recent Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” found 63 percent of Iowans are opposed to raising the gas tax. That’s convincing evidence to Feenstra that the public’s against it.
Feenstra and Bolkcom made their comments during taping of the “Iowa Press” program.