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Sharing of ideas

By Rep. Joel Fry House District 27 joel.fry@legis.state.ia.us

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 2:58 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:30 p.m. CST

There has been an ongoing conversation in the legislature, and with many of you in House District 27, about how best to return some of the over-payment of tax dollars back to the taxpayers of Iowa.

Many of you have shared some excellent ideas. During the process of the legislative session, I took your ideas to the Iowa House. I am excited to share with you how those ideas translated into legislation. Your ideas will allow the over-payment of taxes to be used in a way that financially benefits the state of Iowa for future generations.

The House took the first steps toward passage of a plan to use the over-collection of taxes, or ending balance, to pay off state debt, secure pension funds and invest in one-time infrastructure projects. The legislation mandates the following uses of your tax dollars:

1. Pay off $114 million in state debt earlier than required.

2. Make a $110.2 million payment to the Judicial Retirement System and Peace Officer’s Retirement System to bring those two pension funds to the important 80 percent funded threshold.

3. Invest $34.1 million in infrastructure and economic development projects at ISU, UNI and the U of I.

4. Additionally, money is used to permanently close agricultural drainage wells and new equipment for the Department of Public Safety.

The idea that I heard most from the constituents in House District 27 was to pay down some of the long-term debt of the state. This is a sound budget principal that Iowans live by every day. For the first time in years, the state of Iowa will also live by this principal. Thank you for sharing ideas and solutions for a better fiscally sound future for the next generation.

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