Mathis’ tax vote was best for working families

Mary Christensen | The Gazette >

A recent letter writer (April 4) was mistakenly led to believe that a 3.9 percent flat tax passed by the Iowa Legislature was a bonus for working families and therefore criticized Sen. Liz Mathis for not voting for it.

The truth is just the opposite. And with her vote, Sen. Mathis was one of the few legislators to show support for low-income working families. Here’s the reason why.

The flat tax proposed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and passed by the Legislature in February is not fair to all taxpayers, as Republicans would have you believe, but was promoted by either ignorance or greed.

Having grown up when education (not corn) was king in Iowa, I learned that flat taxes unfairly impact the lowest income earners, giving them a paltry increase in take home pay, while giving the rich an unearned bump in their disposal income (money they don’t really need). At the same time, the tax is reducing the amount of revenue collected from those who can afford to contribute toward making our state better while doing little to reduce the budget burden for low-income folks.

So, instead of giving big tax breaks to the rich, who don’t need it, the governor should have kept our tax system the same and saved our “surplus” revenue or invested it where it would be profitable for all Iowans: on education, for example.

Mary Christensen