The Register has a better story today on the rebirth of Project Destiny. Yesterday, I said it was absurd to call the plan "property tax relief" when it was being paid for by raising another tax. Today we get the numbers:
Des Moines' property tax rate would drop by about $1.85 per $1,000 of taxable value, according to an estimate from Allen McKinley of the city's finance department. After various tax breaks are factored in, the owner of a $100,000 home would save about $84 a year.I think that pretty much speaks for itself.
The savings, however, would be offset by the $160 that same person would pay in higher sales taxes, according to Mike Lipsman of the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance.
The vote also would not freeze property assessments, which have climbed steadily for most homeowners, or prevent cities from increasing their property tax rates.
Jim Pope of Melcher has a letter in today's Register. He wants the state to continue to support his gas guzzling habits:
I own a pickup truck, and I'm not a farmer, but I do own a fifth-wheel camper, which has to be pulled by a pickup.SIX miles per gallon? Let me make this perfectly clear for you, Jim. When you bought a vehicle that only got six miles per gallon, you should've paid the same registration costs (or more) that I'm paying for my 25 mpg Ford Escort, then you should have to pay more for gas, and on top of that you should've been smacked upside the head for being dumb enough to needlessly drive a vehicle that gets 6 mpg and bitch about gas prices.
I purchased my pickup in 2003 when I retired and gas was around $1.60 a gallon. Our plans to travel have changed considerably since gas has bounced upward to between $2 and $3 per gallon. When you get around six miles per gallon, I believe we pickup owners are more than making up the difference in licensing fees.
Ted Sporer has a post up today on the continued efforts to change and rebuild the Republican Party of Iowa. Ted and I are kindred spirits on a few issues, but this line, in his list of problems with the existing party, was so heinous it needed to be rebutted (bolding is mine, the italicizing is Ted's):
· Lack of defining principles denies both the voting and volunteer base a rallying point because Republicans respond far more to ideas and principles than the mere partisan loyalty and class based hatred that motivates our adversaries. We must always be more than just not the Democrats.I think I've said enough in this space over time about how much I hate blind partisanship on both sides. But I've also sat down with the Republican platform long enough to find these 33 laughably bad planks. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE with the balls to accuse the Democrats of "class based hatred" really needs to turn around for a second and take a look at some of the things his party leadership supported. If you're really still searching for the reasons why your volunteer support and vote totals are down, Ted, maybe it's because there's significantly fewer people in Iowa who want to stand a behind a party that sanctioned things like this:
3.17 We call for the repeal of the ban on reasonable corporal punishment in Iowa schools, and for legal protection for teachers and principals who reasonably punish students for misbehavior. We believe that students’ civil liberties are not being infringed upon by punishing wrong behavior.Finally, along with many other Iowans today, my heart goes out to the children and families of the hundreds of workers detained in Marshalltown yesterday. Say what you will about immigration policies and enforcement, but there are two facts in this case that cannot be argued:
1) Meat packing plants and similar industries across the US would never be able to continue to operate without foreign labor. The people who stand on the rooftops and scream "They're taking our jobs!" are all welcome to walk into the Swift plant in Marshalltown today and apply. I doubt one of them will.
2) Hundreds of families in Marshalltown face a massive upheaval today with an uncertain future. Many of the soon to be or already deported have children that are US citizens, many have other family to support as well, and now they're left without jobs and with an uncertain future.
I don't need to tell you that the debate over immigration reform is much bigger than that and more factors come into play. Common Iowan has a good post up this morning with a starting point for a discussion on the issue. But nonetheless, it's worth asking if yesterday's raid was necessary or avoidable.