If there’s anything we need less of this legislative session, it is back-room dealing where major changes in public policy are hatched, then rammed through the Legislature without sufficient public vetting.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix is quoted in media that a tax plan is coming in the next two weeks. It’s staying under wraps until then — a terrible disservice to the responsible setting of public policy. Senator Dix should pull back the curtains, right now.
But, since the senator is not going to let the rest of us in on his big secret tax plan, we should all go into this recognizing at least two major points at the start:
(2) any discussion of tax changes should take a comprehensive approach that should be grounded in widely accepted principles of taxation.
Point 2 is something that is always a problem in Iowa. The typical approach is to target one tax, cut it, and move on to the next one. Meanwhile, the impact on the overall adequacy and fairness of the tax structure (two of the important tax principles), and on the critical public service that the tax system supports, is left to a “let the chips fall” mentality.
Take the curtains away, Senator Dix. It’s the business of all Iowans, right now. A late-session rush job to make a major overhaul of Iowa taxes is not only wrong from a civics-textbook standpoint, but it is bound to create problems that its authors cannot predict.