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Democrat wishes GOP luck in ending ‘family feud’ over tax policy

DES MOINES — Republicans on two Senate committees have approved what’s described as a “proposed compromise” on tax policy, but Republicans in the Iowa House have their own alternative. Senator Dan Dawson, a Republican from Council Bluffs who is chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, spoke before the panel voted on the Senate GOP’s bill.

“I have higher hopes for more tax policy reforms next year, but I can certainly say this today…if this was the only piece of policy that we did in the entire two years here in this chamber, it would be a hell of a bill,” Dawson said. “It’s something we can take back to all of our constituents and say: ‘We did a damned good thing.’”

Senator Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, wished Dawson good luck “in the coming weeks” as lawmakers seek to end the 2021 legislative session.

“I’m hoping you and your House counterparts can end this family feud,” Jochum said, “and we can come to some kind of conclusion on a tax policy that will garner bipartisan support.”

Senator Janet Petersen, a Democrat from Des Moines, urged Republicans to consider erasing the sales tax on period products, something Republican Governor Kim Reynolds proposed a year ago as part of her Invest in Iowa Act.

“The House and Senate are still a long way away from reaching a compromise,” Petersen said, “…and if we are going to do a tax package that is this large, I hope that you will look at some of Governor Reynolds’ gender equity issues.”

Republican Senator Amy Sinclair of Allerton responded to Petersen.

“Solid, comprehensive, common sense, lowered tax policy is best for all people, whether they’re male or female,” Sinclair said, “and to carve out women or men as better or worse in this tax conversation is just a silly thing.”

Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee have approved the same tax plan, so the bill is eligible for debate now in the full Senate. The legislature is in a holding pattern, however, and Republican leaders in the legislature and the governor will continue negotiations in private until a final agreement is developed that can pass both the Senate and the House.

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