The House held a public hearing tonight on rather to end the federal income tax deductability. I have been able to follow the happenings through Twitter.
Speaker Murphy had to clear the public from the House Chambers. Republicans are crying out that the taxpayers were kicked out while Democrats tried to push through a tax increase. I am sure Democrats have a different story.
Here's Radio Iowa's version...
The Democrats plan by ending the ability to deduct your federal income taxes they would be able to lower the tax rates and give the middle class a tax cut. The information I got at a legislative forum on Saturday was that if you make less than $127,00 then you would get a tax cut. The plan was endorsed on Sunday by the Des Moines Register and the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
A crowd of perhaps 600 Iowans was ordered out of the Iowa House tonight. It happened during a public hearing on a tax bill Democrats are advancing. The crowd was booted for failing to abide by the rules of the House which prohibit "demonstrations of any type from the gallery." (Those words in quotation in the previous sentence are posted on a sign located at the door that leads to the seating areas which overlook the House floor.) Many in the crowd booed and hissed at those who did not share their opinion. They applauded and cheered those who agreed with their point of view.Iowans for Tax Relief president Ed Failor, Junior, seemed to get the largest burst of applause and cheers from the crowd. Later, Failor accused House Speaker Pat Murphy (D-Dubuque) -- the leader who ordered the crowd out -- of being "a Nazi."
The most interesting Twitter comment came from Rep. Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights)...
Ed Failor Jr. gave a tremendous speech on respecting the Iowans that built our communities and the future contributors to our state.To translate what Failor means... we should be respecting the Iowans that have money and who do everything in the community.
Currently, lower-income non-elderly households in Iowa pay a much greater share of their meager incomes in state and local taxes than high-income families pay according to the Iowa Policy Project (pdf). By ending the ability to deduct federal income tax, it would make the share each tax bracket pays more even and low income Iowans would no longer have to carry the load.
**Update at 10:20**
I watched the local news to see what spin they would put on this and it was surprisingly good. The antics allowed the news to share the facts. If you make less than $127,000 you get a couple hundred dollar tax cut. If you makes between $127,000 and $250,000 then you pay a few hundred dollars more. If you make more than $250,000 then you would pay just above $2,000 more.
**Update at 10:35**
John Deeth calls the out roar at the Statehouse a "Gucci riot."
...the Legislative service Bureau notes:The income tax reform plan proposed by legislators would reduce average taxes for Iowans earning below $125,000 — but would be revenue neutral for the state because it would increase taxes for those earning above that level.Revenue neutral. So calling the elimination of federal deductibility a "tax increase' is disingenuous. It's an increase for those more able to pay, and a decrease for people who need the help. Which, of course, is exactly why Republicans are so vehement.