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
  • raceway concept drawing.jpg Senate Committee advances Raceway Rebate

    The Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee advanced HF2464, a bill intended to rebate up to $2 million in sales tax back to the Knoxville Raceway, this afternoon. 

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street guys.jpg Video: Bank treats workers to lunch

    City workers and streetscape contractors were treated to a free lunch on Tuesday, courtesy of Iowa State Savings Bank. 

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos 1 Video

  • Megan Suhr.jpg Suhr to host campaign kick off event
    Megan Suhr, Candidate for Iowa House District 28 will hold a Campaign Kick-Off event on Sunday, April 27, from 2-4 p.m. The event will be held at Red Ribbon Bakery, 112 N 2nd Street, in Knoxville. This is a free event, and is open to the public.  
     

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • JJ Dinner-Loebsack.jpg Loebsack's office offers internships

    Congressman Dave Loebsack today announced that his office is now accepting applications from Iowa college students to participate in a Congressional internship program in his Washington, D.C. office.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roby and Reynolds.jpg Central to host STEM event

    Central College will host Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, along with Mary Andringa, the co-chair of the governor’s STEM advisory council and president and CEO of Vermeer Corp., for a STEM town hall meeting May 5.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2013 Knoxville City Council.jpg Council preparing for citywide clean-up

    A request for proposals was approved at Monday's Knoxville City Council meeting, which was the first step in the City's attempt to bring back the citywide residential clean-up day. 

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Volksweg.jpg New Section of Volksweg Trail Now Open

    The 1.25 mile newly constructed section of the paved Volksweg Trail between Fifield Recreation Area and the new Robert's Creek Trailhead has been opened.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pony Express 2.jpg Pony Express raises $7,000

    The local group turned in over $7,000, which helped to exceed the statewide goal of $230,000.  

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Invent Iowa winners.jpg Knoxville students win at Invent, Iowa

    Knoxville's Fifth Grade Inventors, Brady Pearson, Reilly Finarty and Amy Sullivan, all won at the State Invent Iowa Competition.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0422 Eagle photo On a wing and a prayer

    LAKE RED ROCK — Protective gloves aren’t uncommon when dealing with a sick patient, though they’re not usually heavy, leather welder’s gloves. But, then, the patient usually doesn’t have toenails designed to puncture flesh. Or a sharp beak. Diane Mas

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo