Lawmakers propose super majority rule for future Iowa income tax hike votes

DES MOINES — Iowa House Republicans are proposing a constitutional amendment to set a higher threshold for any future state income tax hike.

If Iowa voters approve the change, two-thirds of the members of the Iowa legislature would have to vote to raise the state income tax on individuals or corporations.

Democrats like Representative Dave Jacoby of Coralville oppose the move. “Think about what you’re trying to change,” Jacoby said. “If this amendment passes…it will destroy our form of government and implement a super majority.”

Democrats say the proposal would give veto power to 17 of 50 senators and 34 of the 100 state representatives and hamstring the ability of Iowa General Assemblies to respond to conditions in the future.

Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton said other states led by Democrats have similar policies in place for decades. “California, a blue state, put this into their constitution in 1979…Delaware 1980…This policy before us has been in the constitution of bright blue states. The sky did not fall,” Kaufmann said. “Every example of a (dystopian) future did not happen.”

A similar resolution to require a super majority vote on future income tax hikes has been introduced in the Iowa Senate. Proposed amendments Iowa’s Constitution must be approved by two General Assemblies before going on the ballot for Iowa voters to have the final say.