- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 6, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa state legislators are set to consider a proposal that would expand tax exemptions for manufacturers and lower their tax burden by up to $46 million.

The Des Moines Register (https://dmreg.co/1MWAYtp ) reports the proposal is set to go before legislators next week. Current law exempts certain items used during manufacturing from taxation and instead taxes the final product, and the proposal would expand the number of items qualifying for exemption.

There has been talk for years on how to update the law for newer technologies, said Iowa Association of Business and Industry President Mike Ralston. The association backs changes.

The proposal will be considered by the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee, which has members from both chambers and clarifies implementation of existing law. State Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said the move is an effort to circumvent the Legislature.

“I don’t remember ever tax policy being made by the rules committee or being made by the executive branch without the consent of the Legislature,” Bolkcom said.

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad says changes are needed to modernize statutes, and he disputes claims made by Bolkcom.

Department of Revenue spokeswoman Victoria Daniels said the proposal was issued by the department on behalf of the Iowa Taxpayers Association. She said it doesn’t create new tax policy, and that it’s appropriate for the committee to consider it.

“We are not adding anything in these rules that is not already in the statute,” Daniels said. “We are clarifying the statute and implementing it via this rule making.”


Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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