Increase in Revenues Not a Green Light to Grow Government
Good news arrived last week that came from the Revenue Estimating Conference to discuss the state’s financial situation. This is a good sign that the economy in Iowa is rebounding! I was encouraged by the announcement that revenue estimates were up to $6.87 billion for FY 2014; however, I continue to urge fiscal restraint on budgetary practices and caution against growing government by irresponsibly spending the excess revenue.
A healthy ending balance allows Iowa to fulfill our commitment to fund the education system, provide health care for the most vulnerable, provide for public safety, and enable job creation. We need to make sure that we are cautious in our spending, keeping our budgeting principals in place. Even though Iowa has excess revenues, we need to pass a budget that spends less than we take in on an ongoing basis, does not rely on one-time funding for ongoing programs, and does not purposefully underfund state programs.
I believe excess revenue is an over-collection of taxes. I would like to see any over-collection of taxes returned to Iowa’s hard-working families. Iowans know best how to spend their money and tight family budgets will be eased if we are able to offer this money to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts or refunds. Excess revenue should not be spent on new programs or expanding old ones.
The majority party in the Senate has a budget that spends 11% more than last year – roughly $100 million more than the state takes in on an ongoing basis. In addition, their budget uses one-time money for ongoing programs. This budget practice and long-range plan to grow the footprint of government is irresponsible and unsustainable and not a sound plan for Iowa.
We must continue to exercise fiscal restraint regarding budget management in order to maintain a healthy ending balance.
Please join me at one of my upcoming Urbandale forums with my good friend Representative John Forbes, sponsored by the Great Urbandale Chamber Offices 2900 Justin Drive Urbandale.
Saturday March 30 10:30-12:00
Saturday April 27 10:30-12:00
Please join me at one of my upcoming Johnston/Grimes forums with my good friend Representative Jake Highfill, at:
5800 Merle Hay Road Suite 9 Johnston
Saturday April 6 10:00-11:00
408 East 1st Street Grimes
Saturday April 6 11:30-12:30