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.