Culver open to change in Iowa’s income tax rules

Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat, today was asked during a telephone news conference whether he favored getting rid of the provision which lets Iowans deduct their federal tax bill from their income before they calculate their state income tax liability.

"I think we should have a conersation on that this session," Culver said. "There are a lot of advantages to doing that,:  He added it is something that he and legislators should "seriously look at."

I asked what the advantages were.

"It's kind of complicated," Culver said, with a laugh, "and anything we can do to kind of simplify and streamline the tax code I'm for it.  It's somewhat outdated in the way it's applied and I think that it might be time to just kind of look and see if we can make ….(the tax code) more straightforward and clear."  

Culver added that he has not "had any discussions at length with leaders on this."

UPDATE:  Iowans for Tax Relief president Ed Failor, Junior, just called into the newsroom.  Here is his reaction to Culver's comments.

"I'm not surprised that it's confusing and complex for this governor to understand," Failor said.  "He's trying to take away the largest deduction that middle income Iowans, particular renters, have.  These are the folks who are trying to get ahead and he's going to take away their largest deduction?  It's silliness.  It'd be a $600 milion tax increase on Iowans in a recession….a bad, bad idea."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.