Speaker opposes maneuver to fill Pure Sources and Out of doors Recreation fund

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House Speaker Pat Grassley. (Photo from RI file)

The top Republican in the Iowa House says the 2023 Legislature likely won’t fill a state fund set up to fund water quality and outdoor recreation projects.

In 2010, Iowa voters passed a constitutional amendment creating the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, which would receive monies from a future sales tax increase. Last year Senate Republicans proposed a maneuver to fill that fund by converting all local option sales taxes to a statewide 1% sales tax.

However, about 50 cities and counties do not have a local sales tax, so there would be an increase in those areas.

“Now I know there are people who want to balance it and other talks,” House Speaker Pat Grassley told Radio Iowa, “but at the end of the day, it might cost someone … Right now, with the, what we have fought for and what we are seeing nationally, now is not the time to impose higher costs on Iowans.”

In early 2020, Gov. Kim Reynolds proposed a one-cent increase in the sales tax as part of a plan that would put money into the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Fund and cut state taxes overall. However, the proposal met some opposition from the GOP and was submitted after the outbreak of the pandemic.

The 2023 legislative period begins on Monday.