Republican Tax-Writer Blasts Hubbell’s Tax Policies

Sep 26, 2018

The Republican Party of Iowa featured their Ways and Means Chairman from the Iowa Senate today to criticize the Democratic candidate for governor’s expressed views on tax policy.

Gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell is on record criticizing government spending on corporate tax credits.   But for a news conference at RPI headquarters in Des Moines,  Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Sioux City, put together a list of the millions in tax breaks Hubbell Realty and other Hubbell concerns have received over the years.  

"He has been very successful with the tax credit program." -Sen. Randy Feenstra

Feenstra called that “hypocritical.”  

“There’s no problem with Hubbell taking tax credits in the way they are designed,” Feenstra said.   “However, when you start chirping about other people getting tax credits, and you’re getting a lot of tax credits, that’s a problem,” Feenstra said. 

Hubbell criticizes corporate tax breaks in a statement on Facebook.  

“Iowa has a serious budget mess,” Hubbell writes.   “A mess created by politicians that have a habit of prioritizing wasteful corporate giveaways over healthcare, education, and raising incomes around the state.  

Credit Joyce Russell/IPR

In an e-mail, Hubbell campaign communications director Remi Yamamoto wrote the current system includes “wasteful” tax giveaways.

“Iowans know that, and Fred Hubbell knows that from identifying them almost a decade ago, as part of a tax credit review panel,” Yamamoti wrote.  “Governor Reynolds hasn’t made a single change recommended by Fred's review panel which could have saved the state over $160 million.” 

On another tax issue, Feenstra was a principal author of the $2.8 billion tax cut bill the legislature passed this year and Gov. Reynolds signed. Reynolds is pointing to the tax cut bill as a significant accomplishment of her administration.

"There are absolutely wasteful tax giveaways in the current tax system." -Hubbell Spokeswoman Remi Yamamoto

Hubbell has called for “peeling back” the tax cuts.  But Feenstra says Hubbell would thereby eliminate a thousand dollar tax cut for working Iowans that was part of the bill.  

“He has been very successful with the tax credit program,” Feenstra said.  “And yet, for the everyday working Iowan he's saying no, you're not going to get a tax cut.”

Hubbell has said the tax cut bill threatens the fiscal stability of the state, and it benefits primarily wealthy Iowans, not working families.  

Tax breaks associated with Hubbell that Republicans compiled ranged from property tax breaks for Younkers in the 1980’s when Hubbell was Chairman, to $756,000 in tax credits for Hubbell Realty awarded earlier this month for housing projects in Des Moines.