Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

February 18, 2014

Water quality, RIZ are top topics

(Continued)

“I’ve seen manure go down streams,” he said.

The man said the state has more than 400 impaired waterways and it appears the DNR doesn’t care.

Rozenboom, who raises hogs in Mahaska County, defended the pork industry in Iowa, which is responsible to the environment.

“We’ve made vast improvements in my lifetime,” Rozenboom said. “The system seems to be working pretty well.”

GAS TAX

Sheets talked about the bill he drafted that addresses the disrepair of Iowa roads and bridges. To go along with “half a dozen other bills written to do the same thing.”

Sheets said the gas tax is a fixed number of pennies per gallon and it hasn’t changed in 25 years.

Sheets’ proposal is a “percentage tax” rather than a “fixed tax” on the before-tax cost of the fuel that would provided the same revenue as the fixed tax does now.

Sheets said as the price of gasoline goes up, so to does the amount of revenue the state would collect. Likewise, if the price drops, so to does the revenue.

Such a tax would correct for inflation and also stabilize fuel tax revenues, Sheets said.

Rozenboom said he is leaning toward a gas tax increase “because we can’t keep fighting about it while Iowa roads suffer.”

MISC.

Something the audience didn’t talk about was Sheets’ comments at the start where he said he filed a bill to address convicted criminals being released early from prison, which was in response to what happened to Kathlynn Shepard. Sheets said the bill is intended to make sure convicted criminals do not get released early.

And the comments he made about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, which would cost Iowa between 5,000 and 16,000 jobs, according to a study released by the Employment Policies Institute.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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