The Greiner Report
The first week of any Legislative Session is consumed by ceremony and speeches. This week was no different. Gov. Branstad gave his State of the State address on Tuesday morning, followed by the State of the Judiciary address by Chief Justice Mark Cady on Wednesday.
Gov. Branstad called for passage of a property tax solution to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs who create jobs. Branstad claims a failure to address this issue will result in an additional $1.3 billion in property taxes being paid by Iowans.
Education has always been at the forefront of any Branstad administration and this year is no exception. Legislators heard, firsthand, the Governor’s Education Blueprint for the innovations being proposed. The ambitious plan aims to improve reading scores and other areas where Iowa’s educational system is lagging.
The governor also released his budget for FY 13 this week. In recent years, previous governors have not released their budgets this early in the Legislative Session. I will not offer comments on the proposal until I’ve had time to study it.
There was good news this week from the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC).
Year-to-date FY 2012 state revenues have increased by $43.8 million compared to FY 2011, with total net receipts (after refunds are calculated in) showing an increase of 1.5 percent compared to FY 2011. That being said, after adjusting for the law change that required the first $106 million in cigarette and tobacco tax to be deposited into the Health Care Trust Fund rather than the General Fund, revenues have actually grown 5.3 percent compared to FY 2011.
Tax receipts by class were as follows:
o Personal Income Tax receipts received in December totaled $283.0 million, an increase of $31.4 million (12.5 percent) compared to December of 2010. Year-to-date total income tax receipts have increased by 5.3 percent. The REC is estimating an increase of 3.5 percent as compared to FY 2011.
o Sales/Use Tax receipts received in December totaled $169.8 million, an increase of $1.4 million (0.8 percent) compared to December 2010. Year-to-date total sales/use tax receipts have increased by 3.1 percent. The REC is estimating an increase of 2.7 percent compared to FY 2011.
o Corporate Tax receipts received in December totaled $64.6 million, an increase of $28.9 million (81.0 percent) compared to December 2010. Year-to-date total corporate tax receipts have increased by 36.1 percent. The REC is estimating an increase of 14.2 percent compared to actual FY 2011.
o Other tax receipts received in December totaled $22.1 million, a decrease of $7.5 million (-25.3 percent) compared to December 2010. Year-to-date total other tax receipts have decreased by 45.5 percent. The REC is estimating a decrease of 23.5 percent compared to FY 2011. The reason for the large decrease is due to the change in the deposit of the cigarette and tobacco tax.
o Other receipts (non-tax receipts) received in December totaled $51.7 million, an increase of $6.8 million (15.1 percent) compared to December 2010. Year-to-date other total receipts have increased by 7.6 percent. The REC is estimating an increase of 0.5 percent compared to actual FY 2011.
Although it is sometimes difficult to see when we’re sitting at our kitchen tables, the state’s economy appears to be turning around.
I always look forward to receiving mail from home! Mail sent to the Capitol should carry the Zip Code 50319 and my e-mail address is email@example.com.