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Capitol highlights

January 30, 2015
By Rep. Tedd Gassman - Representing Iowa House District 7 , Estherville News

This week I was assigned to be chairman of a subcommittee for HF 84. This bill will establish a transportation cost supplement program for school districts to relieve their transportation burdens.

It is geared specifically toward school districts that spend greater than average amounts of allocated funds on transportation, including those in my district. HF 84 would allow the patrons of local school districts to impose a tax to help close the transportation gap so more state aid could be used to purchase supplies, hire teachers and other necessary functions. The tax would be a property tax, an income tax surcharge or a combination of the two.

Before the tax could begin, it would first have to be voted on by the taxpayers of the school district.

Some taxpayer groups do not like this bill. I think it is a great idea for northern Iowa because we spend an inordinate amount of money on transportation throughout the 7th district. This initiative would work very similarly to the instructional support levy. The local board would vote to approve this initiative, decide what combination of property and income tax surcharge they would use and then put it to a vote to the people.

I am interested in receiving my constituents' feedback on this bill, so please feel free to contact myself, any taxpayer group, farm bureau, commodity group or your state senator with your thoughts. HF 84 has been assigned to sub-committee for discussion.

The House spent a significant amount of time this week debating HF 80 which contains the supplemental state aid plans for fiscal year 2016 and sets the rate of growth at 1.25 percent. A public hearing which lasted two and a half hours was held on Monday the 26th in which affected groups and individuals shared their views of the bill. On Tuesday the 27th, the House spent 5 hours debating the bill and its amendment, and the bill was finally passed out of the House and sent to the Senate.

This is just the beginning of the process of considering this bill. We have also started working on HF 81 which deals with supplemental state aid for fiscal year 2017. Currently HF 81 sets the rate of growth at 2.45 percent, but that is subject to change.

Rep. Gassman is on the Environmental Protection, Labor, and Local Government Committees, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Education Committee. He also serves on the Administration and Regulation Appropriations Subcommittee. His district includes Emmet County, Winnebago County, and the northern parts of Kossuth County, including Algona. You can contact him at



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