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SENATOR LARRY MCKIBBEN, and
REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE VAN FOSSEN

(#3033)

April 4, 2003

Yepsen: TAX REFORM REMAINS A FRONT-BURNER AGENDA ITEM IN THE 80TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY.   WE'LL GET ASSESSMENTS FROM THE CHAIRMEN OF THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEES, SENATOR LARRY MCKIBBEN AND REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE VAN FOSSEN, ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

 FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM  WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS,"  THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION...   GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY WATCH ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. 

 AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION...  FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS,  AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS,  IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS  REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS;  AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA...   THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE. 

 ON STATEWIDE  IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION,  THIS IS THE FRIDAY,  APRIL 4 EDITION  OF "IOWA PRESS.  " HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN. 

Yepsen: BETWEEN NOW AND THE SCHEDULED SHUTDOWN OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION OF 2003, EXPECT THE TERM "TAX REFORM" TO BE A DAY-IN-AND-DAY-OUT DESCRIPTOR OF WHAT'S GOING ON AT THE IOWA STATEHOUSE.   ALONG WITH THE WORK ON THE BUDGET OF 2004, WHICH GOES INTO EFFECT ON JULY 1, CURRENT DISCUSSIONS COVER A RANGE OF NEGOTIATIONS ON TAX OVERHAUL:   INCOME TAX REFORM,  PROPERTY TAX REFORM,  SALES TAX REFORM,  AND OTHERS.   NOW, WHILE SOME COMPLAIN THAT THE PROPOSED MEASURES DO LITTLE MORE THAN TINKER AROUND THE EDGES OF THE TAX CODE, OTHERS ARE LOOKING TO MAKE DRAMATIC CHANGES IN THE WAY THE STATE COLLECTS ITS REVENUES.   THERE ARE PLANS FROM BOTH LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS AND FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.   AND HERE TO HELP US SORT OUT THE VARIOUS PLANS UNDER REVIEW ARE THE CHAIRMEN OF THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEES IN THE IOWA SENATE AND THE IOWA HOUSE.   JOINING US ARE SENATOR LARRY MCKIBBEN, A REPUBLICAN FROM MARSHALLTOWN, AND HIS COUNTERPART IN THE IOWA HOUSE, REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE VAN FOSSEN, A REPUBLICAN FROM DAVENPORT.   GENTLEMEN, WELCOME ONCE AGAIN TO "IOWA PRESS."   IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK. 

 McKibben: HAPPY TO BE HERE. 

 Van Fossen: GLAD TO BE HERE. 

Yepsen: ALSO WITH US AT THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE ARE STATEHOUSE REPORTERS KAY HENDERSON, DES MOINES BUREAU CHIEF WITH RADIO IOWA, AND MIKE GLOVER, SENIOR LEGISLATIVE AND POLITICAL REPORTER WITH "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS." 

Glover: MR. VAN FOSSEN, LET'S START WITH YOU.   YOUR CAUCUS HAS PROPOSED, JUST THIS PAST WEEK, SOME FAIRLY DRAMATIC CHANGES IN THE STATE'S PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM.   PUT ON YOUR PREDICTOR'S HAT.   AT THE END OF THE DAY, IS THAT BILL OR SOMETHING VERY LIKE IT GOING TO BE PASSED BY THIS LEGISLATURE AND SIGNED BY THIS GOVERNOR? 

 Van Fossen: I THINK SHORT FORM IS YES, MIKE.   WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ALL THROUGH THE CAMPAIGN AND EVEN STARTING WITH THE GOVERNOR LAYING DOWN THE GAUNTLET OF PROPERTY TAX REFORM, SO THERE'S AGREEMENT, BOTH EXECUTIVE BRANCH AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCH, THAT SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT PROPERTY TAXES. 

Glover: ASSUMING THAT THIS OR SOMETHING VERY LIKE IT PASSES, WHEN DOES IT GO ON THE BOOKS?   PROPERTY TAXES ARE KIND OF A FUNNY THING.   WHEN WILL THE AVERAGE TAXPAYER NOTICE?

 McKibben: PROPERTY TAXES ARE AN ODD THING, AND A PROPERTY TAXPAYER WILL TELL YOU THAT IT'S VERY DIFFICULT.  THERE'S 2,000 TAXING JURISDICTIONS OUT THERE.  IT'S A YEAR IN ARREARS.   YOU HAVE A BASE SET FOR THE RATE, BUT YOU CAN FLUCTUATE ON YOUR ASSESSMENT VALUATION OF YOUR PROPERTY SO, OBVIOUSLY, IT IS A VERY COMPLICATED SYSTEM.   WE LOOK AT GETTING IT FULL AND ON THE BOOKS IN 2005. 

Glover: MR. MCKIBBEN, LET'S HAVE YOU PUT ON YOUR PREDICTOR'S HAT.   DO YOU THINK THIS SYSTEM OR SOMETHING VERY LIKE IT IS GOING TO END UP AT THE END OF THE DAY BEING THE LAW OF THE LAND? 

 McKibben: WELL, I'M VERY COMMITTED TO SEE THE POLICY CHANGE HAPPEN.   WE HAD SOME THINGS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT AS WE WENT INTO THIS SESSION:   REFORM AND SIMPLIFICATION OF THE INCOME TAX SYSTEM, REFORM OF THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM, REGULATORY REFORM, AND SOME REFORM OF THE VALUES FUND.   I THINK ALL FOUR OF THOSE ARE IN PLAY.  AND WE'RE IN APRIL AND I FULLY EXPECT ALL FOUR OF THOSE TO HAVE A VERY GOOD SHOT OF GOING TO THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE.

Glover: NOW, THIS PARTICULAR PROPOSAL CAME FROM THE HOUSE.   WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT DOES IT HAVE IN THE SENATE?

 McKibben: WE'RE WORKING ON IT.   WE HAD MEETINGS LAST WEEK.   IT WAS ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I TOLD MY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE MEMBERS YESTERDAY WE WOULD TAKE PROPERTY TAX OFF OF OUR TABLE RIGHT NOW AND LET THE HOUSE GO WITH IT AS A DIVISION OF LABOR.   WE EXPECT TO CONTINUE TO WORK ON INCOME TAX SIMPLIFICATION, AND THEY'LL WORK ON THE PROPERTY TAX COMPONENT. 

Henderson: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, YOU CALLED IT PROPERTY TAX REFORM.   WILL YOU BE CUTTING PROPERTY TAXES?

 Van Fossen: WELL, WHAT WE'VE DONE IS TAKEN A LOOK AT THE WHOLE PIE OF PROPERTY TAXES, ABOUT $2.5 BILLION, AND SAID IF WE COULD REWRITE -- IF WE HAD A CLEAN SLATE, COULD REWRITE PROPERTY TAXES, HOW WOULD WE FILL THAT PIE.   SO WE HAVEN'T LOOKED AT CUTTING PROPERTY TAXES AS MUCH AS WE'VE LOOKED AT REFORMING THE SYSTEM AND MAKING IT MORE TRANSPARENT, FAIR, SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND, AND ECONOMICALLY NEUTRAL, NEUTRALITY ACROSS BOTH HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL NEUTRALITY AMONG TAXPAYERS.   SO NOT AT THIS TIME.   BUT WHAT WE FEEL IS THAT IF THE SYSTEM IS TRANSPARENT, IT WOULD STOP THE BLAME GAME BETWEEN LOCALITIES IN THE STATE GOVERNMENT.   IT WILL ALSO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY'RE TAXES ARE PAYING FOR, HENCE MORE LOCAL CONTROL  -- ARE CONSTITUENTS UNDERSTANDING WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THEIR PROPERTY TAXES --  AND THAT COULD LEAD TO A LOWER GROWTH OF PROPERTY TAXES IN THE FUTURE. 

Henderson: BUT IF YOU ASK TAXPAYERS --

 Van Fossen: RIGHT.

Henderson: -- I WOULD THINK MAYBE THEY WOULD WISH THAT YOUR PRIMARY GOAL WOULD BE TO LOWER THEIR TAXES.  WHY AREN'T YOU LOWERING TAXES?

 Van Fossen: AND IT'S TRUE.   I AGREE THAT WHEN THE GOVERNOR LAID DOWN THE GAUNTLET EARLIER, HE SAID IT'S A BROKEN SYSTEM THAT'S BEEN COBBLED TOGETHER FOR YEARS AND YEARS, SO THIS IS AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP.   IF YOU WILL, WE'RE LOOKING AT THE REVENUE SIDE OF PROPERTY TAXES.   THE BUDGETING SIDE IS ANOTHER ISSUE THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH, BUT THIS IS HOW MUCH MONEY COMES IN. 

Yepsen: SENATOR MCKIBBEN, YOU TALKED ABOUT THE DIVISION OF LABOR, THE SENATE SIDE IS TACKLING THE INCOME TAX REWRITE.   WHERE DO YOU STAND WITH THAT EFFORT? 

 McKibben: WE'RE STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS.   WE HAVE HAD NEGOTIATIONS AND DISCUSSIONS WITH OUR HOUSE COLLEAGUES.   I HAVE HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS.   FRANKLY, I THINK WE'RE PROBABLY AT THE STAGE THAT GOVERNOR VILSACK IS GOING TO HAVE TO WEIGH IN ON THE INCOME TAX SIMPLIFICATION SYSTEM.   AND I THINK HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO TELL US WHERE HE WANTS TO END UP AT THE END OF APRIL, BECAUSE I KNOW HE'S COMMITTED TO HAVING IT BE ACCOMPLISHED.

Yepsen: SENATOR, ON THURSDAY THE HOUSE SAID THEY WEREN'T GOING TO DO INCOME TAX REFORM.   NOW, ARE THEY HOLDING UP THEIR END OF THE BARGAIN HERE? 

 McKibben: WELL, I READ MY FRIEND REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN'S COMMENTS IN THE PAPER THIS MORNING.   HE AND I HAD VISITED ABOUT THAT LAST EVENING.   I THINK WE ALL KNOW, DAVID, THAT EVERYTHING IS OPEN IN THE MONTH OF APRIL.   [ LAUGHTER ]  YOU KNOW, WHEN I FIRST CAME HERE SEVEN YEARS AGO -- AND IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE IT WAS SEVEN YEARS AGO.   BUT WHEN I FIRST CAME HERE, I GOT TO THE FIRST OF APRIL AND I WAS TERRIBLY STRESSED.   AND I SAID, "HOW IS ALL OF THIS GOING TO HAPPEN?"   AND SENATOR IVERSON LOOKED AT ME AND HE SAID, SENATOR MCKIBBEN, UNTIL WE GO SIGN IN DYE, EVERYTHING IS OPEN. 

Yepsen: THAT'S WHAT SCARES A LOT OF PEOPLE.

 McKibben: FRANKLY, I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY WHAT MAKES OUR LISTENERS A LITTLE FEARFUL. 

Henderson: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, WHY AREN'T YOU GOING TO DO INCOME TAX?   WHY DID YOU SAY YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DO IT THIS YEAR? 

 Van Fossen: WELL, WHAT WE DID WAS LAY OUT A TWO-PHASE PLAN.   WE DIDN'T SAY WE WEREN'T GOING TO DO IT.

Henderson: I WAS THERE.   I HEARD YOU SAY YOU WEREN'T GOING TO DO IT THIS YEAR. 

 Van Fossen: I SAID THAT WE WOULD --  WE HAVE LOOKED --  THERE'D BEEN --  IT --  THERE HAD BEEN IDEAS COLLIDING ALL SESSION ON THE PROPERTY TAX SIDE, ON THE INCOME TAX SIDE.   WE AS A CAUCUS DECIDED THAT THE THING THAT WE THOUGHT WE COULD ACCOMPLISH THIS YEAR, WHICH WOULD GO A LONG WAYS TO WHAT WE WANTED TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE SESSION, WAS PROPERTY TAX REFORM, THE SENATE'S REGULATORY REFORM, EXCUSE ME.   WE'VE HAD A LOT OF FOLKS FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY COME IN AND SAY, "YOU KNOW, OUR CORPORATE TAX AND OUR SALES TAX SEEMS TO BE PRETTY FAIR TO US.   WHAT YOU CAN REALLY DO TO HELP IOWA GROW MORE IMMEDIATELY IS THE REGULATORY REFORM, WHICH IS COMING OVER FROM THE SENATE."   I'VE BEEN FOR EITHER A FLAT TAX OR A TOTAL ELIMINATION OF INCOME TAX MY WHOLE TENURE UP HERE, AND I'M NOT GIVING THAT UP.   LARRY AND I ARE COMMITTED TO WORK TOGETHER.   IF THEY CAN COME UP WITH A PLAN OVER THERE THAT MEETS THE CRITERIA THAT OUR CAUCUS WILL AGREE TO, WE HAVE SOME PEOPLE THAT'S A LITTLE NERVOUS ABOUT ELIMINATION OF FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY WITHOUT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROTECT TAXES FROM GOING UP.   SO IF WE CAN GET A COMPROMISE BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND SENATE ON INCOME TAX, WE'LL BE HAPPY TO TAKE THAT UP BEFORE THE END OF THE SESSION. 

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, LET'S TAKE A STEP BACK FOR A MOMENT AND TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT EACH OF YOU ARE PROPOSING.   CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF WHAT THIS PROPERTY TAX PLAN WOULD DO AND HOW IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT FROM WHAT'S ON THE BOOKS RIGHT NOW?

 Van Fossen: RIGHT.   WHAT THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM WOULD DO IS TAKE OUT THE VALUATION.   RIGHT NOW YOU HAVE ASSESSED VALUATION TIMES RATE EQUALS YOUR PROPERTY TAX DUE.  WHAT WE WOULD DO IS LOOK AT A SQUARE-FOOTAGE PROPERTY TAX, DECOUPLE FROM AG, ELIMINATE THE ROLLBACK IN EQUALIZATION ORDERS, AND JUST LOOK AT PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT OF THE HOME, IN OTHER WORDS, TAKE THE BASE YEAR, WHAT THE PURCHASE PRICE WAS, THE PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT, AND SIMPLE MULTIPLY THAT TIMES THE TAX RATE.   THAT WOULD GIVE YOU WHAT YOUR PER SQUARE FOOT OWED IN TAXES WOULD BE.   THIS IS SUCH A SIMPLE SYSTEM.   I WONDER HOW WELL IT WOULD WORK, BUT I KNOW WE'VE GOT A VERY BRIGHT GROUP OF FOLKS LOOKING AT THIS.   THESE --

Yepsen: EXCUSE ME.   JUST EXPLAIN HOW, SO THAT THE AVERAGE HOMEOWNER IS CLEAR, JUST WHAT'S IT GOING TO DO TO MY PROPERTY TAXES?   HOW IS IT GOING TO CHANGE WHAT I DO? 

 Van Fossen: WHAT IT WILL CHANGE THAT YOU DO IS YOU NO LONGER HAVE THAT GAME OF THE ASSESSED VALUATION INCREASING YOUR TAXES.   RIGHT NOW WE HAVE AN 8/10 LIMIT ON PROPERTY TAXES ON THE RATE SIDE.  YOU KNOW, WE TALK ABOUT PROPERTY TAX RELIEF AT THE HOUSE AND UP AT THE CAPITOL; PEOPLE LOOK AT THEIR PROPERTY TAX BILL AND IT STILL GOES UP.   WELL, THAT'S BECAUSE ASSESSED VALUATION INCREASES.   WE'RE TAKING THAT OFF THE TABLE AND ALLOWING IT TO GROW WHEN THE HOUSE IS RESOLD BUT PUTTING IT TOWARD -- OR IF YOU BUILD ONTO YOUR HOME.   IT WILL TAKE THIS GAME AWAY OF, YOU KNOW, IF YOU IMPROVE YOUR PROPERTY TO MAKE YOUR HOME BETTER, YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE ASSESSED VALUATION INCREASING, HENCE YOUR PROPERTY TAXES GOING UP.   YOU KNOW, THAT'S BEEN A COMPLAINT EVEN IN RURAL AREAS.   YOU SEE A LOT OF BARNS THAT ARE CRUMBLING.  IT'S NOT WORTH IT TO SOME FOLKS TO IMPROVE THEIR PROPERTY BECAUSE THEIR TAXES GO UP. 

Glover: SENATOR MCKIBBEN, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU.   WHAT IS IT THAT YOU'RE PROPOSING TO DO TO IOWA'S INCOME TAX SYSTEM? 

 McKibben: WELL, BASICALLY, MIKE, WHAT I'M GOING TO DO IS TAKE OUR CURRENT NINE BRACKETS THAT WE'VE GOT, COMPRESS THEM TO ONE BRACKET.   I HAVE INCREASED THE EXEMPTIONS FOR FAMILIES.   I HAVE TAKEN --  WE ARE TAKING OUR INCOME OFF OF FEDERAL ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME, MULTIPLYING IT BY A SINGLE RATE.   I HAVE STILL MAINTAINED SOME $40 AND $80 CREDITS FOR LOW-INCOME WORKING FAMILIES.   ONE OF MY GOALS WHEN I STARTED THIS LEGISLATION WAS:   ONE, SIMPLICITY;  TWO, FAMILY FRIENDLY;  THREE, LESS COST OF OVERHEAD TO MANAGE AND MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM.   I THINK I'VE GOT A PROPOSAL THAT WILL DO THAT.   IT'S NOT UNIQUE WITH ME.   I TOOK A LOT OF THE IDEAS OFF OF OTHER STATES THAT HAVE GOT FLAT TAX SYSTEMS OR SINGLE RATE SYSTEMS.   I HAVE TAKEN ABOUT  30- TO 40,000 WORKING FAMILIES OFF OF THE TAX ROLLS.   IT DOES --  IT IS A REDUCTION OF INCOME TAXES.  PART OF THE DIFFICULTY WITH DOING TAX REFORM IN IOWA IS THAT OUR COMPLEX SYSTEM NOW HAS SO MANY CREDITS AND SO MANY EXEMPTIONS FOR SO MANY CONSTITUENCIES THAT WHEN YOU GO TO RUN THE GRAPHS AND THE TABLES TO SEE WHO IS, QUOTE, HARMED AS WE LOOK AT THIS, IT BECOMES A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO DO WITHOUT A FAIR NUMBER OF DOLLARS GOING TOWARD IT.   AND THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I ROLLED THIS UP WITH -- INITIALLY WITH PROPERTY TAX AND SALES TAX.   AND I THINK ULTIMATELY WHEN WE GET THERE, WE'RE STILL GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOME REVENUE ADJUSTMENTS AMONG ALL OF THOSE COMPONENTS.  I TOOK THAT OFF THE TABLE YESTERDAY BECAUSE GOVERNOR VILSACK AND SOME OTHER LEADERS HAVE SAID THEY'RE LOOKING AT THE CIGARETTE TAX, THEY'RE LOOKING AT SOME SALES TAX FOR THE VALUES FUND.   WE STILL HAVE AN AWFUL LOT OF THINGS TO PUT TOGETHER AS TO HOW THIS FITS.   BUT I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED --  AND, FRANKLY, MINE IS THE ONLY PROPOSAL ON THE TABLE THAT HAS REAL SIMPLIFICATION AND IS REAL FAMILY FRIENDLY AND IS A REAL TAX CUT.   AND I SAY TO THE REST OF MY COLLEAGUES LET'S SEE THE LEGISLATION.   I'VE BEEN WORKING ON IT FOR TWO AND A HALF -- YOU KNOW, FOR A MONTH AND A HALF HERE TO SEE IT ACCOMPLISHED.   MY PROBLEM WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT SNIPE AND CRITICIZE THESE KINDS OF PROPOSALS IS NOBODY ELSE HAS HAD THE COURAGE TO PUT IT OUT THERE AND I HAVE. 

Henderson: WELL, A FEW MINUTES AGO YOU SAID THE GOVERNOR NEEDS TO PUT SOMETHING OUT THERE. 

 McKibben: WELL, WHAT I THINK REALLY GOVERNOR VILSACK -- AND I WILL SAY THIS TO HIM WHEN I MEET WITH HIM IN THE FIRST OF THE WEEK.   HE NEEDS TO DO WHAT GOVERNOR RICHARDSON HAS DONE DOWN IN NEW MEXICO.   HE'S A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WHO HAS REDUCED TAXES TO BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE IN THE SOUTHWEST REGION.   I LOOKED AND I HAVE STUDIED SOME OF GOVERNOR RICHARDSON'S PROPOSALS AS HE MOVED TOWARD A SIMPLER TAX SYSTEM AND A LOWER RATE AND COMPETITIVE SYSTEM, AND HE'S PROUD OF IT AS A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR.   AND I BELIEVE GOVERNOR VILSACK NOW MUST TAKE THE BULLY PULPIT, MUST COME TO THE LEGISLATURE AND SAY, "THIS IS WHERE I'M COMING DOWN." 

Yepsen: SENATOR, ONE THING HE HAS SAID IS THAT HE DOESN'T LIKE A SINGLE RATE TAX.   HE WANTS AT LEAST A COUPLE RATES. 

 McKibben: AND I'M WAITING TO SEE THE PROPOSAL, DAVID.   I HAVE TOLD THE GOVERNOR, I HAVE TOLD EVERYONE ELSE THAT'S HAD CRITICISM OF THIS, SHOW ME THE PROPOSAL AND NOT BE AFRAID TO COME OUT WITH IT. 

Yepsen: IS ONE OPTION HERE FOR BOTH OF YOU TO SIMPLY SUNSET BOTH SYSTEMS, THE INCOME TAX SYSTEM AND THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM, REPEAL IT, AND STUDY THIS MATTER OVER THE SUMMER AND COME BACK AND DEAL WITH IT NEXT YEAR?   THESE ARE HUGE CHANGES YOU'RE CONTEMPLATING IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.   REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES --

 Van Fossen: ABSOLUTELY. 

Yepsen: -- BITING YOU HERE?

 Van Fossen: ON BOTH PROPERTY TAX AND INCOME TAX.   I THINK TO BACK UP A STEP, THOUGH, THAT'S WHAT THE GOVERNOR PROPOSED.   I WILL GIVE LARRY CREDIT AND I THINK THE WORKING GROUP WE'VE HAD LOOK AT PROPERTY TAX.   YOU KNOW, WE'RE PUTTING INK TO PAPER ON BOTH SIDES.   HE'S DOING THE INCOME TAX.   WE'RE LOOKING AT THE PROPERTY TAX.   WE'RE PUTTING THOSE IDEAS OUT THERE.   THERE WILL BE SOME THAT WILL BE AGAINST IT AND SOME FOR IT, BUT OUR BASIC GOAL IS TO REMEMBER THE FOLKS WHO PAY THE TAX IN THE STATE OF IOWA.   THAT'S OUR CONSTITUENTS THAT ARE RESIDENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS, PEOPLE WHO PAY PERSONAL INCOME TAX.   IF WE WANT THIS STATE TO MOVE FORWARD, WE HAVE TO HAVE SOME BOLD IDEAS --

Yepsen: SENATOR, IF YOU DO THAT, THOUGH, IF YOU WAIT --

 McKibben: CAN I RESPOND TO THE SUNSET?

Yepsen: CAN YOU GET IT DONE, THOUGH, IN AN ELECTION YEAR? 

 McKibben: YEAH.  I'D LIKE TO FOLLOW UP ON THE SUNSET PART. 

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT.

 McKibben: ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I CAME INTO THIS SESSION WORKING HARD PUTTING THE INK TO PAPER, AS REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN INDICATES, IS THAT I FELT WE HAD TO ACCOMPLISH IT.   GOVERNOR VILSACK SAID TO ME IN DECEMBER, COMING OUT OF A MEETING, "WE HAVE A HUNDRED DAYS, SENATOR MCKIBBEN, TO REALLY DO SOMETHING BEFORE WE GET INTO THE NEXT CAMPAIGN SEASON."   I BOUGHT INTO THAT.   OUR LEADERS SAID EXACTLY THE SAME THING.   THE THING THAT CONCERNS ME ABOUT A SUNSET IS I AM LEAVING SOMEONE ELSE IN THE FUTURE TO MAKE MY POLICY DECISIONS.   I WAS ELECTED TO BE THE POLICYMAKER FOR THE PEOPLE OF IOWA.  I HAD A GREAT PHONE CALL WHEN I GOT HOME YESTERDAY.   I HAD A PHONE MESSAGE ON MY VOICE MAIL THAT SAID, "SENATOR MCKIBBEN, SOME PARTS OF WHAT YOU PROPOSED, I DON'T AGREE WITH.   BUT YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE THAT'S COME FORWARD WITH A PLAN.   AND I KNOW YOU'RE A TAX CUTTER AND I KNOW YOU WANT TO SIMPLIFY TAXES AND YOU UNDERSTAND IT, AND GO FOR IT.   I TRUST WHAT YOU'LL DO."   AND I WANT US -- I WANT THE GOVERNOR AND I WANT OUR LEADERS TO SAY WE'RE GOING TO GO FOR IT IN THE LAST THIRTY DAYS HERE AND WE'RE GOING TO GET IT DONE. 

Glover: MR. VAN FOSSEN, LET'S LOOK AT THE BATTLE LINES IN THIS DEBATE THAT YOU'VE STARTED ABOUT PROPERTY TAXES.   WHO'S GOING TO BE LEADING THE CHARGE FOR THIS, AND WHO'S GOING TO BE FIGHTING IT? 

 Van Fossen: WELL, THAT'S VERY INTERESTING BECAUSE WE WORKED AS A WORKING GROUP STARTING OUT WITHOUT INPUT FROM THE OUTSIDE.   THEN WE SLOWLY TOOK IT TO BOTH PEOPLE WHO ARE, AS I SAID, THE RESIDENTAL PROPERTY TAX GROUP THAT WOULD LOOK AT IT,  BUSINESS COMMUNITY HAS ALSO, ABI AND IOWA TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION,  AND THEN ALSO TALKED TO THE FARM BUREAU.   AND THEN YESTERDAY BEFORE THE PRESS CONFERENCE, WE HAD THE CITIES AND COUNTIES IN.   EVERYBODY IS CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC.   THEY LIKE THE IDEA THAT IT'S A BOLD PLAN, THAT IT'S A CHANGE FROM WHERE WE'RE AT NOW.   IT TAKES VALUATION OFF AND THIS BICKERING THAT WE HAVE BETWEEN CITIES AND COUNTIES IN THE STATE.   THEY ALL LIKE THE IDEA.   WE'RE GETTING A BILL DRAFTED NOW AND THEY WANT TO SEE THE FINAL PRODUCT AND I AGREE WITH THAT. 

Glover: BUT WHO'S GOING TO LEAD THE CHARGE FOR IT? 

 Van Fossen: WHO GOING TO --  IT'S GOING TO BE FROM US, FROM INSIDE.  WE'RE GOING TO LEAD THE CHARGE.   WE'RE GOING TO BE PUSHING BECAUSE WE THINK WE HAVE A GOOD IDEA.   WE THINK OUR CONCEPT OF TRANSPARENCY, FAIRNESS, AND SIMPLICITY ARE GOOD.   AND I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE PRODUCT THAT WE PUT OUT, AND I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE PRODUCT THAT WE COULD PUT OUT WITH INCOME TAXES WORKING WITH CONSENSUS ON LARRY'S.   LARRY'S BASIC PRINCIPLES ON INCOME TAXES ARE SOMETHING THAT I -- I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT OF.   I THINK IF WE WANT TO GROW THIS STATE, WE NEED NUMBERS OF PEOPLE HERE, WE NEED ECONOMIC GROWTH, AND WE CAN ONLY DO THAT WITH A LOW OR ZERO INCOME TAX RATE AND A FAIR SYSTEM ON SALES TAX AND PROPERTY TAX.

Glover: SENATOR MCKIBBEN,  SAME QUESTION TO YOU.   WHO'S LEADING THE CHARGE FOR THE TAX BILL THAT YOU PROPOSED?

 McKibben: I THINK PEOPLE THAT WANT A SIMPLER SYSTEM.  YOU KNOW CITIZENS OUT THERE, BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY --  I VISITED --  LAST WEEK THE TAX DIRECTOR FOR JOHN DEERE WAS IN MY OFFICE.   THEY'RE ONE OF OUR LARGEST EMPLOYERS IN THE STATE OF IOWA.  HE SAID, "SENATOR MCKIBBEN, YOUR INCOME TAX SYSTEM IN IOWA HAS A BAD VISUAL, HAS A BAD OPTIC TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY.   WHEN WE GO TO RECRUIT PEOPLE TO THE STATE OF IOWA, THEY TAKE A LOOK AT 8.98 PERCENT AND THEY SAY YOU'RE ON TOP OF THE LADDER, WE'RE NOT INTERESTED."  AND I THINK BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY GROUPS WANT IT SIMPLIFIED.   I THINK FAMILIES WANT IT SIMPLIFIED.   I THINK THE GOVERNOR WANTS IT SIMPLIFIED.   IT'S A QUESTION NOW IS WHAT IS THE FINAL DEFINITION OR THE OUTLOOK OF THAT SIMPLIFICATION. 

Henderson: THE TAX PLAN YOU PUT FORWARD A FEW WEEKS AGO INCLUDED A FLAT TAX.   THAT WAS ABOUT A $500-MILLION TAX BREAK FOR IOWANS.   AT THE SAME TIME YOU PROPOSED A CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE AND A HALF-CENT INCREASE IN THE SALES TAX.   NOW YOU'VE ABANDONED THOSE TAX INCREASES.   WHY? 

 McKibben: WELL, THE REASON I DID IS THAT ALL OF A SUDDEN AFTER I PUT THAT PROPOSAL IN THE INCOME TAX REFORM PACKAGE, EVERYBODY SAID -- GOT ON BOARD WITH A CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE.   OTHER PEOPLE STARTED TO SAY, "WELL, WE WANT THAT HALF A PERCENT FOR OTHER THINGS,"  AND I SAID TO MYSELF, WELL, WHY SHOULD I TAKE A VOTE ON A TAX INCREASE UNTIL MY MEMBERS KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE PACKAGE IS.   AND, KAY, THIS IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE BIPARTISAN.  WE CANNOT DO MAJOR OVERHAUL OF OUR PROPERTY AND INCOME TAX SYSTEM IN THE STATE OF IOWA WITHOUT BIPARTISAN SUPPORT.  I HAVE SAID THAT FROM DAY ONE.   I EXPLAINED THAT TO MY COLLEAGUES.   MY RANKING MEMBER, SENATOR BOLKCOM, SAID IN THE PAPER TODAY THAT IT WAS ROBINHOOD IN REVERSE.   THAT'S GOOD-NATURED  AND I'M FINE WITH THAT.   BUT AT THE LAST DAY WHEN IT TAKES THE VOTES, WE HAVE TO HAVE A BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT AND WE HAVE TO HAVE AN AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNOR HOW WE'RE GOING TO DO IT. 

Yepsen: BUT, SENATOR, YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT RAISING THE SALES TAX A LITTLE BIT AND RAISING A HALF A CENT -- OR RAISING SOME ON THE CIGARETTE TAX. 

 McKibben: HOW YOU KIND OF PAY FOR --

Yepsen: -- TO PLOW BACK INTO A TAX CUT.   THE TAX BURDEN --  THE TOTAL TAX BURDEN WOULD BE LOWER AT THE END OF THE DAY.   WHAT'S BEING DISCUSSED NOW IS TO RAISE THE SALES TAX AND TO RAISE THE CIGARETTES TAX TO SPEND IT.   ISN'T THAT A BIG DIFFERENCE? 

 McKibben: THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT, THAT THAT'S A BIG DIFFERENCE. 

Yepsen: IS THAT GOING TO FLY IN THE HOUSE? 

 Van Fossen: I DON'T THINK SO.   WHAT WE'VE LOOKED AT IS --  YOU KNOW, YOU LOOK AT THE --  YOU LOOK AT THE THREE LEGS OF THE STOOL BEING CORPORATE, PERSONAL INCOME, AND SALES FOR THE STATE.  LARRY AND I HAVE WORKED HARD TO MAKE CORPORATE INCOME TAX COMPETITIVE, AND I THINK WE'VE DONE THAT.   WE'VE ALSO WORKED HARD ON SALES TAX ON MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, WHICH MAKES IT MORE COMPETITIVE.   IF YOU WANT TO GROW THIS STATE, YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE PERSONAL INCOME SIDE.   NOW, BACK TO YOUR ORIGINAL QUESTION.   IF YOU LOOK AT THE WHOLE PIE, IT'S ABOUT $8.5 BILLION IN TAXES THAT WE RAISE, IF YOU INCLUDE LOCAL PROPERTY, SALES TAX FROM THE STATE, AND STATE TAXES.   NOW, HOW DO YOU BEST WANT TO MAKE THAT PIE WORK?   DO YOU WANT TO GO TO ALL PROPERTY TAX?   DO YOU WANT TO HAVE A COMBINATION OF PROPERTY AND INCOME AND ELIMINATE THE SALES TAX?   OR DO YOU WANT TO HAVE A COMBINATION OF SALES AND PROPERTY TAX AND ELIMINATE THE INCOME TAX?   WE'VE LOOKED AT ELIMINATING THE INCOME TAX AS THE BEST WAY FOR THE GROWTH OF THIS STATE TO MOVE FORWARD AND HAVE A COMBINATION OF -- I WOULDN'T NECESSARILY SAY IT'S A TAX INCREASE, BUT BROADENING THE BASE OF SALES TAX. 

Yepsen: EARLIER IN THE SESSION, MR. VAN FOSSEN, THERE WAS A DISCUSSION OF THREE OTHER TAXES, PUTTING SOME KIND OF TAX ON INTERNET SALES, STREAMLINING THE SALES TAX, OR DEFINITIONS OF WHAT GETS TAXED --

 Van Fossen: THOSE TWO FIT TOGETHER. 

Yepsen: -- AND RAISING -- OR COLLECTING MORE CORPORATE INCOME TAX FROM CORPORATIONS THAT ARE FORMING SHADOW CORPORATIONS OUTSIDE IOWA TO TRY TO GRAB SOME OF THAT MONEY. 

 Van Fossen: SURE.

Yepsen: WHAT'S HAPPENED TO THOSE THREE IDEAS? 

 Van Fossen: WELL, ON THE STREAMLINE SALES TAX, WHICH DOES -- IT FITS WITH CORPORATE -- OR EXCUSE ME, THE INTERNET SALES, I DON'T HAVE A PROPOSAL YET BECAUSE WE HAVE TO LOOK AT DEFINITIONS FIRST, WE HAVE TO DECIDE, ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS IS KIND OF A COLLUSION OF STATES, WHAT IS A CANDY.   DOES IT INCLUDE A COOKIE INSIDE?   WE HAVE A VERY CONVOLUTED SALES TAX DEFINITION RIGHT NOW.   SO WE NEED TO CONFORM THAT WITH THE REST OF THE COUNTRY AND THEN ALSO MOVE FORWARD WITH, YOU KNOW, IS THERE GOING TO BE AN AGREEMENT.   YOU NEED AT LEAST 20 STATES THAT THEY COULD COLLECT THAT TAX.   I COULDN'T SEE IT GETTING DOWN AND DIDN'T THINK IT WAS WISE TO INCLUDE THAT IN THIS FISCAL YEAR.   ON THE CORPORATE SIDE, THE COMBINED CORPORATE REPORTING, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A VERY GOOD SYSTEM WITH A SINGLE FACTOR IN THIS STATE AND IT'S VERY COMPETITIVE AND WE THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE UNCOMPETITIVE TO DO THAT. 

Glover: SENATOR MCKIBBEN, EARLIER IN THIS SESSION, THE FARM BUREAU CAME FORWARD WITH A MUCH BALLYHOOED PLAN TO BORROW A COUPLE OF BILLION DOLLARS, USE IT TO PAY OFF THESE LOCAL FINANCE DISTRICTS THAT HAVE BEEN USED FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND A VARIETY OF OTHER THINGS.   IS THAT JUST SIMPLY DEAD NOW AND NOT GOING TO HAPPEN? 

 McKibben: IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE STIR PROPOSAL DID FROM FARM BUREAU WAS CAUSE US TO TAKE A LOOK AT TIFF MUCH CLOSER THAN WE HAD.   AND I THINK TIFF HAD KIND OF BEEN GOING ALONG AND --  [ SPEAKING AT ONCE ]

Glover: -- THAT'S A TAX INCREMENT FINANCE SYSTEM THAT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS DO TO DO THEIR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT THING.

 McKibben: CORRECT.   AND WE KIND OF PASSED THAT LEGISLATION, AND THEN WE LEFT IT OUT THERE.   AND I REALLY, LIKE A LOT OF OTHER LEGISLATORS, HADN'T PAID A LOT OF ATTENTION TO IT.   THE NUMBERS CAME OUT THE OTHER DAY, AND I DO NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY -- YOU MIGHT --  $1.5 OR -6 BILLION WORTH OF TIFF IS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS OUT THERE, AND WE HAD A $2-BILLION PROPOSAL IN STIR.   AND AS I UNDERSTAND, IT IS SIMPLY NOT ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE.   I THINK THE NEXT THING THAT LEADS US TO IS THE NEED TO REFORM THE TIFF SYSTEM. 

Yepsen: WILL YOU DO THAT THIS YEAR?

 McKibben: I FULLY EXPECT US TO REFORM THE TIFF SYSTEM THIS YEAR. 

 Van Fossen: IN FACT, I'M GETTING A BILL DRAFTED THAT WOULD REFORM --

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROTUNDA, WHAT ABOUT THIS FARM BUREAU PROPOSAL?   I DON'T HEAR MUCH DISCUSSION ABOUT IT ANYMORE? 

 Van Fossen: IT WAS INTERESTING.   THERE WAS A LOT OF DISCUSSION THE FIRST WEEK, AND THEN EVERYBODY WENT HOME AND THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, I DIDN'T REALLY CAMPAIGN ON THIS IDEA OF INSTALLING A STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX.   YOU KNOW, IT WAS A BOLD PROPOSAL. 

Glover: THAT WASN'T IN YOUR CAMPAIGN BROCHURE?   [ LAUGHTER ]

 Van Fossen: NO, IT WASN'T, UNFORTUNATELY. 

Glover: WHO OVERLOOKED THAT ONE? 

 McKibben: IT WILL BE IN HIS NEXT ONE.   [ LAUGHTER ] >> Van Fossen: NO IT WILL NOT,  THAT'S FOR SURE,  I'LL SAY RIGHT NOW, LARRY.   BUT, NO --  AND ELIMINATION OF TIFF, WHICH IS A TOOL THAT THE LOCAL -- LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOLKS CAN USE AND RESPOND PRETTY QUICKLY WITH.   YOU KNOW, IT'S BOLD FOR US TO BOND OUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE AWAY FOR $3 BILLION FOR A SUPPOSED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN, BUT LARRY AND I START TALKING ABOUT FLAT TAX -- ELIMINATION OF -- FLAT TAX AND/OR ELIMINATION OF THE INCOME TAX AND DOING PROPERTY TAX REFORM, AND THEY LOOK AT US LIKE WE'RE SOME RADICALS OUT THERE.   SO, YEAH, I THINK THE STIR IDEA, WHILE IT DID POINT OUT SOME DIFFICULTIES AND PROBLEMS WITH THE TIFF SYSTEM, IS A NONSTARTER AS FAR AS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE STATE.   IT WOULD BE CENTRALIZED PLANNING.   THINGS -- WE DON'T PICK WINNERS AND LOSERS TO GOOD IN THE STATE.   REMEMBER THAT AIRLINE FROM DES MOINES, THAT DIDN'T DO TO WELL, AND WE SPENT A LOT OF MONEY --

 McKibben: AND I THINK WE'LL DO THE REFORM.   WHAT I HEARD FROM MY CONSTITUENTS AROUND THE STATE IS TIFF IS A GOOD TOOL IN THE LOCAL -- FOR OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES.   IT'S BEEN A GOOD TOOL FOR ME IN OUR COMMUNITY OF MARSHALLTOWN AND IN HARDIN COUNTY.   SO I PERSONALLY THINK WE NEED TO DO THE REFORM, BUT I THINK AT THIS POINT IN TIME WE NEED TO LEAVE THAT ON THE BOOKS. 

Henderson: SMALL SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN COMPLAINING TO YOU ALL ABOUT THE FACT THAT LARGER DISTRICTS WHERE THERE IS A REVENUE BASE FOR THESE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX, THEY'RE ABLE TO IMPROVE THEIR BUILDINGS, WHEREAS, SMALL SCHOOLS AREN'T.  WILL YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES IN THE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX THIS YEAR, REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN? 

 Van Fossen: IN THE SCHOOL LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX, THERE HAS BEEN A PROPOSAL THAT HAS PASSED OUT OF THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE.   AND WHAT THAT WOULD DO IS TAKE, ON A COUNTY BY COUNTY VOTE, THOSE DISTRICTS THAT DON'T HAVE IT COULD AGREE TO GO INTO A POOL OF FUNDS --

Henderson: IS IT GOING TO HAPPEN?

 Van Fossen: WELL, IT'S PASSED THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE.   IT'S ON THE FLOOR.   IT'S UP TO THE MAJORITY LEADER.   I THINK IT WILL.   PART OF IT WAS HIS PLAN.   SO IT WOULD POOL FUNDS TOGETHER.   IT WOULD ALSO ALLOW FOR THAT FUNDING POOL TO HAVE STATE MONEY PUT INTO IT, IF WE COULD WITH WHATEVER VALUE FUND OR WHATEVER IS OUT THERE. 

Glover: SENATOR MCKIBBEN, I'VE HEARD THE DISCUSSION OF THE INCOME TAX, THE DISCUSSION OF RAISING SALES TAXES AND CIGARETTE TAXES.   I'VE HEARD DISCUSSION OF PROPERTY TAXES.   IS THERE ANY TAX THE REPUBLICANS AREN'T GOING TO TINKER AROUND WITH? 

 McKibben: I THINK WHAT WE'RE DOING THIS YEAR IS OPENING AND NOT BEING AFRAID TO HAVE IDEAS PUT OUT.   I THINK --  YOU KNOW, MY DIFFERENCE IN DEFINITION BETWEEN A POLITICIAN AND A POLICYMAKER, A POLICYMAKER IS ONE THAT'S WILLING TO LOOK AT THE LONG-TERM PICTURE AND LOOK AT GROWTH.   WE HAVE SET THE BAR FOR GROWTH IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THIS STATE.  I APPLAUD THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE BROUGHT OUT THE IDEAS FOR CHANGE.   I'VE BROUGHT OUT AN IDEA FOR CHANGE THAT A LOT OF MY FRIENDS HAVE HEARTBURN ABOUT, BUT I WASN'T ELECTED TO COME DOWN THERE AND SIMPLY PUT IN MY TIME.   FRANKLY, IF I WANT TO DO THAT, I'LL STAY IN MARSHALLTOWN AT MY REAL JOB AND NOT WORK EIGHTY HOURS A WEEK. 

Glover: BUT A POLITICIAN IS ONE WHO DOES IT IN AN ODD NUMBERED YEAR, RIGHT?   [ LAUGHTER ]

 McKibben: THAT'S PART OF IT.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, WHAT TAXES ARE YOU NOT LOOKING AT?   WHAT'S OFF THE BOARD? 

 Van Fossen: WELL, IT'S INTERESTING YOU SAID "TINKER," MIKE, BECAUSE I THINK THAT'S WHAT WE'VE DONE IN THE PAST -- FOR THE PAST DECADE.   WE'VE TINKERED WITH THE INCOME TAX.   WE'VE TINKERED WITH PROPERTY TAX.   YOU KNOW, WE'RE TAKING A HOLISTIC APPROACH AND SAYING THAT --  AND I THINK THIS IS WHERE THE HOUSE CAME DOWN YESTERDAY WITH DOING A PHASE ONE ON PROPERTY AND PHASE TWO ON INCOME.   IF YOU LOOK AT A SYSTEM THAT'S TAKEN DECADES TO COBBLE TOGETHER, AND IT'S NOT GOING TO BE FIXED IN FOUR MONTHS.   SO THAT'S WHY I THINK THAT WE HAVE TAKEN THIS HOLISTIC APPROACH AND SAID, "YOU KNOW, FROM A PRAGMATIC STANDPOINT, MAYBE WE CAN'T GET INCOME TAX" --

 McKibben: IT MIGHT BE FIXED IN FOUR MONTHS.

 Van Fossen: AGAIN, IT MIGHT BE, YES.   BUT AS FAR AS TINKERING WITH TAXES, YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE WE ARE STARTING, I THINK, TO PUT A LOT OF TAXES OFF ON FEES AND THINGS LIKE THAT.   SO THAT'S AN AREA THAT I'VE REALLY BEEN CAUTIOUS ABOUT.   I PULLED A LOT OF THE FEE BILLS IN THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE AND TRIED TO LOOK AT IT ON A NEEDED BASIS, BECAUSE YOU COULD SAY YOU'RE LOWERING TAXES ON ONE END, BUT IF YOU RAISE FEES, FEE IS A TAX. 

Glover: I'D LIKE TO GET IT A LITTLE BIT MORE NAILED DOWN ON THIS PRAGMATIC ASPECT OF WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO THIS YEAR?   ISN'T THE PRACTICAL EFFECT OF WHAT THE HOUSE CAUCUS DID THIS WEEK WAS TAKE INCOME TAXES OFF THE TABLE FOR THIS YEAR?   YOU CAN SAY ALL YOU WANT, "YEAH, WE'LL LOOK AT THE PROPOSAL," BUT DIDN'T YOU IN FACT TAKE THEM OFF THE TABLE THIS YEAR? 

 Van Fossen: WELL, WE DID FOR THIS WEEK, LET'S SAY.   I WILL TELL YOU IF LARRY AND I CAN COME TO CONSENSUS ON INCOME TAXES, IT'S NOT OFF THE TABLE.   AGAIN, GOING BACK TO OUR DISCUSSION AT THE BEGINNING:   IT AIN'T TILL IT'S OVER, AND THAT'S WHEN WE GO SIGN IN DYE AND THE SESSION IS OVER. 

Glover: DO I HEAR A FAT LADY SINGING? 

 Van Fossen: THAT'S RIGHT.   SHE'S NOT EVEN HUMMING YET THOUGH.

 McKibben: ON MY DESK AT THE OFFICE, I HAVE A LEADERSHIP CALENDAR THAT MY MOTHER GAVE ME SEVEN YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS ELECTED.   AND I HAPPENED TO LOOK AT APRIL 4 TODAY, AND I HAVE IT HERE.   "WHEN YOU CANNOT MAKE UP YOUR MIND WHICH OF TWO EVENLY BALANCED COURSES OF ACTION YOU SHOULD TAKE, CHOOSE THE BOLDER ONE."  AND I JUST CHUCKLED TO MYSELF WHEN I GOT READY TO COME DOWN HERE TODAY.   AND I SUPPORT THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATIVE LEADERS THAT SAY WE NEED TO BE BOLD AND WE NEED TO GET IT DONE.   AND I'M GOING TO FIGHT LIKE THE DICKENS, AND I HOPE GOVERNOR VILSACK WILL JOIN ME IN FIGHTING LIKE THE DICKENS TO GET IT DONE IN THE NEXT THIRTY DAYS. 

Yepsen: SENATOR, WE'VE GOT JUST A FEW SECONDS LEFT.   BUT REAL QUICKLY, THE LEGISLATURE -- I HEAR LEGISLATORS TALKING ABOUT RAISING THE SALES TAX, RAISING THE CIGARETTE TAX TO BORROW MONEY SO THE GOVERNMENT CAN PICK WINNERS AND LOSERS.  I THOUGHT THE REPUBLICANS WON THE ELECTION. 

 McKibben: I THINK THERE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE A LOT OF QUESTIONS ANSWERED BEFORE YOU SEE A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE BORROWING MONEY TO PICK WINNERS AND LOSERS.   AND THAT ONE, I THINK THERE'S STILL A LOT OF WORK TO DO ON THE VALUES FUND, DAVID. 

Yepsen: GENTLEMEN, WE'VE GOT TO LEAVE IT THERE.   WE'RE OUT OF TIME.   THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR BEING WITH US THIS WEEK.   APPRECIATE IT.   THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."   JOIN US AGAIN NEXT WEEK.   DEAN BORG WILL BE BACK,  AND I HOPE YOU WILL AS WELL.   UNTIL THEN,  I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF  "THE DES MOINES REGISTER."   THANKS FOR JOINING US  HERE ON STATEWIDE  IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. 

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