Tax-hike proposal violates Iowans’ trust

Iowans made clear their support for our natural resources and recreational opportunities at the ballot box, but Governor Reynolds is now threatening to shortchange them (SSB 3116/HSB 657).

In 2010, voters approved a Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund to be filled with a portion of state sales tax if the sales tax was increased. Governor Reynolds now wants to raise the sales tax, but is reneging on the agreed-to amount for natural resources and recreation.

Iowans intended for at least $200 million a year in new money to go to natural resources and recreation, but the Governor’s sleight of hand will provide only $82 million in new funding, according to the Iowa Fiscal Partnership.

Prior to the 2010 election, state legislators established how money would be generated and distributed so that Iowans knew in advance exactly what they were committing to when they voted for a constitutional amendment creating the trust fund.

Although the idea was to beef up spending with new funding where it was sorely needed, the Governor’s plan ignores voters’ intent, and instead moves around money in existing programs. The result? Our land and water will get only about two-fifths of what was promised from the sales-tax increase.

We will continue to listen to Iowans and push for changes to the Governor’s proposal as it makes its way through the legislative process.

Learn more about what voters approved at

Read the Iowa Fiscal Partnership’s analysis at