Lawmakers seek data on proposed business tax cut

DES MOINES — A bill to reduce the taxes Iowa businesses pay into the state fund that pays out unemployment benefits is advancing in the House, but Republican Representative Dave Deyoe of Nevada said they’re seeking a detailed analysis of the bill’s impact.

“If the math doesn’t work, we’re not going to do it as is,” Deyoe said.

Governor Kim Reynolds proposed this tax cut in January as part of a larger package of tax reductions. Deyoe said lawmakers want a Legislative Service Agency analysis so they can be assured that when unemployment rises during a recession, business taxes won’t have to be raised to keep the Unemployment Trust Fund solvent.

During a House subcommittee hearing this morning, Nick Lanning, a lobbyist for the trade union that represents electrical workers, said with recent John Deere layoffs and the closure of the Tyson plant in Perry, now is not the time to make dramatic changes in the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund.

“Maybe pump the brakes a little bit and say: ‘Let’s consider all the factors we have here before we do something that could have long term effects,’” Lanning said.

Iowa Association of Business and Industry lobbyist J.D. Davis told lawmakers the association backs the bill and the drive to get more information about its potential impact.

“We have some of the very same concerns that have expressed by labor about the solvency of the fund. We want to make sure that an economic downturn can be survived and the fund is there for the purpose it’s there,” Davis said. “…I think moving the bill is going to get you the information you need to know about next steps.”

The bill cleared a House subcommittee Thursday and will be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee next week.