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Gov. Branstad brings his budget message to Mason City


This news story was published on June 16, 2011.
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MASON CITY – Governor Terry Branstad brought his message on the state budget impasse to Mason City Thursday afternoon. Branstad, on the final stop of forty-three throughout the state, said that the state “inherited a real big financial mess” from former Governor Chet Culver and his basic goal for the state budget is to “spend less than we take in.”

Governor Terry Branstad brought his message on the state budget impasse to Mason City Thursday afternoon. Branstad, on the final stop of forty-three throughout the state, said that the state “inherited a real big financial mess” from former Governor Chet Culver and his basic goal for the state budget is to “spend less than we take in.”

Branstad told a crowd of about forty or fifty people, “It’s not a surprise” that he would bring a fiscally conservative approach to the state budget and that Democrats will need to accept this. He said this approach may “not make people happy” but it will help put Iowa on sound financial footing moving into the future. Branstad wants a “sustainable” two-year budget.

Branstad is stressing a cut to commercial property taxes in Iowa, which he says are the highest in the nation, in order to get competitive with neighboring states. “There would be a $1.3 billion increase in property taxes of no action is taken,” he said.

Branstad said that future budget plans include phasing out taxes on retirement incomes and taxes on social security. He also says that closely watching spending is a key, and where those funds come from when they are spent. He had Rep. Linda Upmeyer elaborate on that point. She said “One-time dollars for on-going spending” is a major pitfall that should be avoided.

Branstad added that his administration “inherited a real big financial mess” from former Governor Chet Culver and his basic goal for the state budget is to “spend less than we take in.”

Branstad skipped a trip to China to go on this tour, saying “I’m glad I stayed home.” Branstad told the crowd, when asked if he would run again in four years, that that was way, way premature but that “I’m glad I did run again.”

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