By Tom Quiner

Be prepared to vote on a “Land Stewardship” amendment to the Iowa Constitution.

The amendment calls for future taxes to protect Iowa’s environment (sales tax increases).

These taxes will help subsidize farmer’s conservation efforts.

The monies will be housed in a trust fund.

The idea is worthy, however an amendment is the wrong way to handle it. This is a function best left to the legislature. Do Iowa’s farmers really need another subsidy? A letter writer to the Des Moines Register, Kurt Johnson, said it well:

“Those who pollute should pay for the damages they cause — plus penalties — to help encourage prevention. Taxpayers should not pay for this. Polluters should pay.”

Does Iowa really need higher taxes, especially during this steep recession?  No. Let the legislature carve out funding from existing taxes if land stewardship is a priority. And it IS an important issue, but one best left to the legislature to handle.

Be prepared to vote NO on the Land and Water Legacy Amendment.

No Comments

  1. Paul Sharp on October 26, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I basically agree with Mr. Johnson’s comments in his letter to the editor, but keep in mind that, after the Clean Water Act, federal monies were used in massive amounts to build municipal wastewater treatment plants .

    The party that generates waste should be responsible for cleaning it up and that includes farmers/ranchers.

    Tom Quiner’s last 2 paragraphs are “spot on”. Vote no to the Land and Water Legacy Amendment!

  2. Rhonda Phillips on October 26, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Jodi Tymeson, my representative from Winterset explained it this way: If we support the land amendment 3/8 of a penny will be put ‘in trust’ for the purpose it was intended and congress can’t touch it. (As with our road taxes now) However, that said, there is no money currently in the fund and taxes (a penny) would have to be raised to fund the trust. It’s a catch 22. In reviewing the comment above and Tom’s letter I agree that farmers/ranchers/and the parties that generate waste should, by law, have to clean it up themselves. But, will they?

    Personally, I’m sick of being taxed to death (middle class) and it’s only going to get worse come January 1st when Bush’s tax cuts expire. To date, Congress has not delt with that problem.

    Maranatha Lord!

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