Iowa Soybean Association Executive Director Kirk Leeds says his group is joining the effort to raise the Iowa sales tax rate to pay for water quality projects.
Leeds says Iowa lawmakers boosted taxes for the state’s transportation system in 2015 by raising the state gas tax and his group will lobby lawmakers will make the same kind of investment decision for water resources in the state.
The state’s LARGEST farm organization is NOT part of the coalition — but Leeds points to the Iowa Farm Bureau’s decision this past week to support efforts to find existing or raise NEW state tax revenue for water quality initiatives. Leeds predicts “political compromises” are ahead.
Jan Glendenning, the state director of the Nature Conservancy, has been working on this issue for a decade and she’s “optimistic” the tide is turning.
The group supports a three-eighths cent increase in the state sales tax. An estimated 180-million dollars would be raised annually. About 60 percent of it would be used for on-the-farm practices that improve water quality. The rest would be used for projects that enhance outdoor recreation with investments in parks, trails and lakes.