imageBy State Senator Kent Sorenson

Year after year, Iowa ranks as one of the least friendly states in the nation to conduct business in, according to the Small Business Survival Index.  While Iowa’s business climate seemed to improve in 2010, Iowa still ranked at the very low end of the list.  Only nine other states and the District of Columbia were found to have a worse business climate. 

And while Iowa scores some points for having a low number of health insurance mandates (6th lowest), low crime rate (10th), low electric utility costs (11th), and low gas tax rate (18th), Iowa doesn’t fare so well when it comes to corporate income tax rates, corporate capital gains tax rates, and adjusted unemployment tax rates.

Iowa ranks 49th for corporate income tax rates and 49th for corporate capital gains tax rates.  Only the District of Columbia and the state of Pennsylvania have higher rates!

In figuring adjusted unemployment taxes, the index takes the maximum state tax rate and applies it to the state wage base and then takes that as a share of state average pay.  In this category, Iowa ranks 48th, beating out only Minnesota, Utah, and North Dakota.

The reason I bring up all this dismal data is to tell you again what I told you in my campaign – I won’t vote for new taxes, and I know that improving Iowa’s business climate is crucial to attracting and growing businesses in this state and putting Iowans back to work.

But one man in the senate won’t let us do that.

You see, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has the power of controlling the committees that new legislation must go through. As such, he can either have a committee kill that legislation or bring it to the floor for a vote. There are a lot of good bills that have been introduced this session that are aimed directly at getting Iowa back on track.

But Gronstal stalls.

And he can do it, too. You know why? Because he decided right after the start of the legislative session that he’d change the 40 year old senate rules to remove the language that allows a senator like me to force legislation to the floor.

I bet you can imagine how I feel about that.

I call it tyranny, plain and simple.

Improving Iowa’s business climate is crucial to attracting and growing businesses in the state and putting Iowans back to work.  I remain dedicated to helping reform our tax structure and identifying and removing unnecessary government rules and regulations to improve Iowa’s business climate and begin putting Iowans back to work.

If Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal doesn’t like what you have to say, he can stop it dead in its tracks.

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

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