Reaction to Culver’s cash transfer

Earlier today, Governor Culver’s staff announced the governor had transfered $45.3 million from the state’s cash reserve to balance the books on FY09.

Democrats control the debate agenda in the Iowa Legislature because Democrats occupy a majority of seats in both the Iowa House and Senate.  None of the top Democrats issued a statement. Instead, the chair of the committee in the House that drafts the state budget issued a statement.  Republican legislators and a GOP gubernatorial candidate issued statements, too.  Read all below.


“Despite these tough economic times, we’ve balanced the state budget without raising taxes and ended the 2009 Fiscal Year with healthy reserves. As we did last year, we will take any action necessary to keep the 2010 budget in balance and continue our work to find savings for 2011.  We know there are difficult decisions ahead, but our priority has been and will continue to be helping middle class families while keeping the state’s fiscal house in order.”

(DES MOINES)—House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) released the following statement today in response to the governor dipping into the economic emergency fund to balance the 2009 budget:

“The governor’s actions today once again prove that Legislative Democrats and Gov. Culver were reckless with taxpayer dollars, spent too much money, and borrowed even more to cover their excessive spending.

“When the 2009 books closed, the governor came up short so he raided our savings account to balance the checkbook.  Not only is this kind of budgeting irresponsible, but it also puts Iowa’s economic future for fiscal year 2010 and 2011 in further turmoil.

“House Republicans remain committed to reining in out-of-control spending and protecting Iowa taxpayers.”

Rants: Tax Refunds Delayed to “Balance the Budget

“Governor Culver isn’t telling Iowans that $30 million in tax refunds that should have been paid in July and August were delayed so that he could close the books and declare the budget balanced.  California at least had the courtesy to issue IOUs to taxpayers.  Iowa just kept their money,” said Rep. Chris Rants, candidate for Governor from Sioux City.

The Revenue Estimating Conference projected over $70 million in anticipated refunds.  Culver’s press release reports paying only $43.9 million in refunds.   The Dept of Revenue paid the missing $30 million in refunds starting on September 2nd after they stopped counting accruals.    An examination of past years practice shows that corporate tax refunds of $24M and $30M were paid in July and August during FY 08 and FY 09; while this year only $8.5 M was paid.  Yet in previous years $14M and $15M in refunds have been paid in September, while this year $44.6 M has been suddenly paid.

“There is no such thing as coincidence – not in electoral politics and budget gimmickry.  They held the refunds to make things look better.  That’s a dishonest way to balance the budget,” added Rants.

DES MOINES, IA – Senate Republican Whip Steve Kettering (R-Lake View) issued the following statement today regarding Governor Culver’s shifting of funds to pay for the largest budget in state history:

“During the legislative session, Governor Culver forgot about teachers and flood victims by choosing not to couple with federal income tax law. Apparently, the Governor forgot about them again today when he claimed he balanced the budget without raising taxes.”

“Iowans expect an open and honest budget done in broad daylight and not secret deals in back rooms to shift money around to balance the budget.”

“Iowans can expect Senate Republicans to continue to offer smart solutions to curb excessive spending, reduce the size of state government and provide accountability and transparency.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

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