January 14, 2006

Iowa: More Details on Vilsack Budget Proposals

More news from Iowa, where we reported a couple of days ago that President-in-waiting Tom Vilsack was using his final Condition of the State address to push a singularly timid vision of tax reform. Funny thing about not being willing to use the word "tax" in your speech-- it tends to give a low profile to all your tax ideas, even the smart ones. The Iowa press lost no time in seeking out the all-important opinion of local beer wholesalers on Vilsack's proposed beer tax hike, but utterly failed to mention that Vilsack also wants to enact combined reporting, a needed corporate tax reform.

Of course, that could be because Vilsack's speech didn't contain a peep about this either. Check out ITEP's policy brief on combined reporting to find out more. As with the cigarette tax, combined reporting is a windmill at which Vilsack has tilted previously-- better luck to him this time around.

Meanwhile, Vilsack continues to push all the wrong buttons in rationalizing his cig tax proposal:
[H]e said revenue from the hike would repay money owed to the Senior Living Trust, as well as capitalize an insurance pool that would help small businesses pay catastrophic health-care costs for their workers.
We've said it before: cig taxes should not be about the money, but about curbing smoking.


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