Legislative Republicans began a push Monday for constitutional limits on the Legislature’s ability to spend money and raise taxes.
House Joint Resolution 2, which was co-sponsored by 53 House Republicans, would write the state’s 99 percent spending limitation law into the Iowa Constitution and also would direct surplus funds exceeding 10 percent to flow into a taxpayers’ trust fund so the money could be returned to taxpayers as an overpayment. Also, lawmakers in the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate would need a two-thirds majority vote to authorize the issuance of revenue or appropriations bonds.
A second proposed constitutional amendment included in the House resolution sought to establish a three-fifths majority vote requirement in both legislative chambers to raise the state income or sales/use taxes, or to enact a new state tax. HJR2 also provides that any lawsuits challenging the measure’s enactment would have to be filed no later than one year from the resolution’s enactment date.
To amend the Iowa Constitution, the resolution would have to pass the current Legislature and the subsequent 86th Iowa General Assembly in exactly the same form to come before Iowa voters for ratification.
What do you think of the idea? Do you agree with the lawmakers who want to require a 60 percent majority vote in the Iowa House and Senate in order to raise any state tax rate or create a new tax?