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State Lawmakers Focus on Taxes and Education

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa legislators say they expect debate over tax reduction and education funding proposals to dominate the legislative session that starts Monday.

Gov. Terry Branstad is scheduled to unveil his budget plan next week. He has made clear that reducing commercial property taxes will be a key part of the proposal.

Speaking Wednesday at a legislative forum organized by The Associated Press, House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, noted he also wants lowering income taxes to be on the table.

Paulson says some portion of the state budget surplus should be returned to taxpayers.

Branstad's top budget aide says the governor's priority is on lowering commercial property taxes but that he will consider other proposals.