During the first 2018 Iowa Gubernatorial Debate, Democratic nominee Fred Hubbell said that he supports tax breaks for middle class and lower income Iowans, but is that true?
Watch his remarks from Wednesday’s debate:
Kathie Obradovich from The Des Moines Register asked Hubbell, “Do you support any additional tax cuts or would you roll back some of the cuts this year?”
Hubbell answered, “Well what I support is a tax break for Iowans and lower income families in our state.”
This is not what he said during his interview on Iowa Press right after he won the Democratic primary.
O. Kay Henderson: “Governor Reynolds signed a tax bill in the past month. You have said that you would like to re-do parts of it. If you are Governor in January, what will you ask the legislature to do in regards to tax policy?”
Hubbell: “Well, you know it is looking pretty grim at this point, you know, the tariff wars are getting worse, right? The tariffs on livestock instead of being $400 million are $560 million and now we have threats against steel, aluminum again, as well as corn and maybe ethanol. So it can get a lot worse.
“And so I think if sat here today and today’s world is what you are going to have in January, we are going to have to peel back all those tax cuts because our state is not going to be able to afford that. If we have a billion dollars of hits to our farm economy that is going to be hundreds of millions of dollars hits to our state revenue, and our state is not going to be able to afford that? How are we going to be able to pay back the $144 million that has already been borrowed from the rainy day funds if we already have a shortage next year of several million dollars? How are we going to continue even at a minute level fund education, healthcare, and infrastructure in our state?”
Henderson: “So you would undo the individual income tax cuts, how about the corporate tax cut?”
Hubbell: “I’m talking about all of the tax cuts. You know at this point in time I’ve said very clearly I would’ve vetoed the law if I had a chance to veto it because it is fiscally irresponsible. Now if I’m Governor in January, we are going to have to take a look at what the situation is. There are some things in that tax law like getting rid of federal deductibility and leveling the playing field for main street businesses with internet which I think are good, we would like to try to keep those.
“But I don’t see how we can have a tax law that reduces the revenue for our state government and I don’t see how we could have a tax law, if we do have any reduction in revenue, that gives most of it to big companies or wealthy individuals instead of having a more balanced way.”
So Hubbell in this interview said he wants to 1. peel back all of the tax cuts if revenue is down, but he also wants to 2. keep the elimination of federal deductibility and keep the internet sales tax.
This would not just eliminate the tax cuts, but it would effectively raise taxes for Iowa taxpayers including the middle class and families.
Hubbell doubled down on this during his interview this month with the Des Moines Register‘s editorial board. He said “we’re gonna have to take a serious look at” repealing Reynolds’ tax cut plan.
So, if he now supports tax breaks for the middle class and lower income families that’s a new development.
Based on his past statements I say he misled Iowans during the debate on what his tax policy will really be if elected.