SSB 1117 fully funds Iowa's Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund - providing a sustainable sources of funding for water quality, wildlife habitat, protection of natural areas to prevent flooding, and parks/trails/outdoor recreation. Funding would be constitutionally protected under Iowa's state constitution and would cost the average Iowan only $4 per month.
As a recent non-partisan study conducted by Prof. Dan Otto of Iowa State University's Center on Agriculture and Rural Development shows (http://bit.ly/TNLQPB), an increase in the state sales tax of 3/8ths of one percent would generate approximately $123.4 million in revenue for the Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. According to Professor Otto, this would provide further support for natural resources and outdoor recreation programs that, quote, "already result in more than $3.1 billion of spending which in turn helps support almost 31,000 jobs and $1.16 billion of income in the state."
In addition to these economic benefits, funding the Natural Resources Trust Fund would provide critical support for voluntary soil conservation efforts that can help the State of Iowa meet demands for enhanced water quality and reduction of soil erosion without resorting to burdensome regulations.
A recent bipartisan poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and FM3 research found that 63% of Iowa voters would support an increase in the state sales tax, so we are asking Governor Branstad and the Iowa General Assembly to support increase in the state sales tax to fund these critical needs during the 2013 session. As many have said before us, "If not now, then when? And if not us, then who?" Thank you for your time and deliberate consideration.