Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

December 19, 2013

Vander Linden opposes the gas tax

Rep. Guy Vander Linden (R-Oskaloosa) remains opposed to a gas tax increase without offsetting the increase with a decrease in another tax.

At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Vander Linden said he believes Iowa’s roads need to be improved, but also believes that Iowans pay enough in taxes. The session ended with a budget surplus, and Vander Linden still believes that asking taxpayers for more money, when they have already overpaid the state, is not a good way to fund road improvements.

Vander Linden has spoken with Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Corydon) who has a proposal to transfer a portion of the anticipated revenue increases to the state this year, to the Road Use Tax Fund. This may be 2 percent or more. The percentage has not been finalized.

Beyond roads, Vander Linden, who chairs the House State Government Committee, plans to work with Secretary of State Matt Schultz on a Voter Identification bill. Schultz ran, and was elected, under the message of maintaining the integrity of Iowa’s elections, including adding a requirement for voters to produce state identification before voting. Vander Linden said he supports the principle of voter identification laws.

Vander Linden is also crafting legislation regarding primary elections. As the law stands today, if no candidates in a primary election receive the required 35 percent of the vote, the decision of whom the nominee will be is left to the party. Vander Linden wants to change this process and hold runoff elections in these cases.

The date of school board elections would change under another bill Vander Linden is working on. He is concerned about the consistently low turnouts for school board elections - often under 10 percent - and would like to move them from September to November. Vander Linden hopes that by moving the date of the elections, it will encourage more Iowans to participate in the process.

Prevailing thoughts from most legislators say that the 2014 session should be short and uneventful. As Vander Linden points out, that’s not always a guarantee.

Major reforms in education and property tax laws continue to move forward. Both of these were Gov. Terry Branstad’s priorities in 2013. Vander Linden said he has not heard with the Governor’s priorities are for 2014, but he believes that will be revealed when the session begins.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • TC 41.jpg Slideshow: Twin Cedars semifinal game Scenes from before, during and after Twin Cedars' semifinal state baseball game on Thursday, July 31, 2014.

    July 31, 2014

  • JJ Dinner-Loebsack.jpg Knoxville Airport awarded over $836K

    Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that the Knoxville Municipal Airport will receive a $836,787 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration grant program. 

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Corps aware of blue green algae being seen at Lake Rock

    July 31, 2014

  • Matt Byrd.jpg KHC, Grinnell medical center to share new hire

    Knoxville Hospital & Clinics and Grinnell Regional Medical Center have entered a new agreement to share leadership for radiology services. Matthew M. Byrd, CNMT, RT (N)(CT), will join the staff at both hospitals as the director of radiology/diagnostic imaging. GRMC will employ Byrd and then contract his services to the Knoxville Hospital & Clinics.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nicholas Carter.jpg Carter sentencing tomorrow

    Nicholas Wade Carter, 19, is expected to be sentenced Friday morning, Aug. 1, at 9 a.m. 

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • North Tailwater to close Aug. 4

    The North Tailwater area near the Red Rock Dam will be closed to the public beginning Aug. 4 to enable construction of hydroelectric facilities at the Dam. The closure will extend until construction of the project is completed in the spring of 2018.

    July 31, 2014

  • streetscape July 29.jpg Paving may begin late next week

    The Third Street project is about three weeks behind, but paving may begin late next week. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Playground to be closed

    The wooden playground structure at Auld Park will be closed Thursday, while the City applies a new coat of sealant. Caution tape will be placed around the structure. When the sealant dries, the structure will be reopened. 

    July 29, 2014

  • Shrine Bowl 19.jpg Slideshow: Shrine Bowl Marion County was well-represented at the annual Shrine Bowl in Cedar Falls on Saturday. Football coaches Jay McKinstrey of Pella and Eric Keller of Knoxville led the south team, which won 23-7. The Pleasantville High School Dance Team also played a big role in the pregame festivities.

    July 28, 2014

  • library.jpg New library at Auld Park

    The City installed this new library at Auld Park Wednesday afternoon. The Optimist Club helped create this new way for the people of Knoxville to share literature.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo