By State Senator Kent Sorenson

The “Taxpayers First Act” (HF45) that passed the House of Representatives would’ve saved taxpayers $500 million dollars over the next three years. Unfortunately, when the liberal Democrat Senate leadership got done with it, it was gutted almost beyond recognition.

Instead of saving you and me the $500 million we so greatly need, it now only saves a whopping $10 million over the next three years.

And instead of setting aside $327 million for tax relief, the liberal Democrat Senate version sets aside a whopping $0.

All of that waiting, all of that Gron-stalling and delay, was for nothing. The clear message that taxpayers sent back on November 2 was that Iowans wanted real representation, lower taxes, lower spending and less government.

So you and I, the Iowa economy and Iowa workers continue to foot the bill.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving money. But the $10 million dollar token the liberal leader of the senate forced down our throats is more of an insult than substantive savings.

Senate conservatives offered amendment after amendment to the liberal chokehold on taxpayers but to no avail.  It was a party line vote every time at 26-24.

But have no fear! The liberal Democrats did let us debate a bill about raccoon hunting!

(For those of you needing a refresher, the reason I say that they “let us debate” is because liberal Majority Leader, Mike Gronstal from Council Bluffs controls the Senate Calendar, the passage of legislation through committees, and decides if we should be allowed to vote on any particular legislation and ultimately determines the outcome of any potential legislation IF he decides to let it come to the floor.)

So for those of you who cast your vote on November 2, 2010, because you were mad that you couldn’t take your minor child raccoon hunting with you without them having a license, I’d like you to know that I voted FOR repealing that requirement.

You can now take your minor child raccoon hunting with you and they don’t need a license.  But they are not allowed to carry a firearm if they’re not licensed.

I’m glad we got that passed. Truly. We should’ve let parents take their children hunting without a license anyway, but I still believe that we have more important legislation to work on.

Excessive taxes come to mind.

Combining our state corporate tax rate of 12% with the federal rate of 35% and the Tax Foundation says that the Hawkeye State may have the highest levy in the developed world.

And according to the Wall Street Journal, workers “bear the cost of excessive corporate taxes. A 2009 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City examined three decades of data on business taxes and worker paychecks. The study found that "corporate taxes reduce wages and that the magnitude of the negative relationship between the taxes and the wages has increased over the past 30 years."

Businesses in high tax states invest less, the study found, and this leads to lower productivity (think fewer jobs) and eventually lower average pay for workers.

This isn’t just hypothetical theory. This is state government stifling businesses that could and would be creating jobs if the tax and business climate were less oppressive.

It’s plain and simple math folks. It’s not sustainable unless we change the path we’re on.

This is why I expect we’ll start to see half-truths and attempts to claim public credit for easing restrictions and burdens on Iowa taxpayers to start coming out of the liberal leadership in the next few weeks. They know, as well as you and I do, that they have to start gaining the appearance of being business and taxpayer friendly if they want to hold on to the majority in the Iowa Senate in 2012.

But you and I know such efforts will be seen for what it really is: political grandstanding. If they cared about taxpayers, and if they cared about Iowa workers and the middle class, they wouldn’t have been so deceptive with their legislation and rhetoric for the last several years.

And if they had truly realized the “error of their ways,” they would’ve immediately reached across the aisle and united with conservatives to ease restrictions, ease the burdens and get us back on track sooner rather than later.

Taxpayers remain last on their agenda.

State Senator Kent Sorenson (R-Indianola) represents Iowa Senate District 37 which includes Madison, Warren and Southern Dallas Counties

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