Behn presses for tax cuts
He seeks Republican nod for Senate District 24
Editor’s note: In the last of a series of articles introducing candidates on Tuesday’s primary election ballot, Chad Behn, a candidate for the Republican nomination in state Senate District 24, answers questions posed by The Messenger.
Senate District 24 includes Boone, Greene and Hamilton counties, southeast Webster County and northwest Story County. The incumbent, state Sen. Jerry Behn, R-Boone, is retiring.
Behn faces Joshua Dyer, Jesse Green and Todd Rasmussen in the race for the Republican nomination.
Cynthia Oppedal Paschen and Keith Puntenney are seeking the Democratic nomination.
What is your previous political experience?
I am currently a Boone County supervisor. I was elected in 2016 and I am serving in my last year.
What is your profession?
I am a farmer. I graduated from college and went into farming roughly 18 years ago. I still enjoy that lifestyle and plan on continuing until I am no longer available to do so.
What is your educational background?
I graduated from Des Moines Area Community College with a two year degree and went on to Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and graduated with a communication degree. Played basketball at both places.
Why should the voters pick you?
As a supervisor our toughest job is to keep the budget in order and not raise taxes. We were able to flat line the taxes for three years and did a 2 percent increase this last year. Boone County’s asking is 94th lowest in the state. As compared to the other taxing authorities in the county there wasn’t anyone that was able to keep the taxes down like we did.
Also, there is always a battle between local and state control. As a supervisor it has given me a unique perspective on the value of local control.
In your opinion, what is the No. 1 issue facing the state and what would you seek to do about it if elected?
Tax structure. We tax and then use incentives to attract business. We would be better off making the tax climate such that businesses didn’t need an incentive to come to the state. There are triggers in the code currently that if we show growth more tax cuts will take affect. We need to eliminate those and just enact those cuts.
Also, educational saving accounts need to be started to encourage competition in the school systems.
What would you recommend to rejuvenate the economy?
Cut taxes. I am always surprised when the economy takes a hit that both parties turn to a stimulus in the form of tax rebates. Effectively admitting putting your tax money back into the people who pay taxes helps fire up the economy. Again both parties don’t hesitate to do this. So just start off cutting taxes, take out the middle man, and let people keep their hard earned money.
What would you do to bring jobs to rural Iowa?
High speed internet is what makes businesses able to start up and survive anywhere. It will definitely pump life into rural Iowa. As high speed spreads throughout rural communities business will connect better and that will rejuvenate rural Iowa.
What changes in the health care system, if any, would you recommend in response to the coronavirus pandemic?
Right now it seems the debate is focused on whether private or government should run health care. No matter who is running, when you have a bad business model it is going to fail. We need to restructure the health care system and start debating that topic rather than private or government-run. The billing practices are terrible and it is nothing more that cost shifting from one to another. Insurance carriers are carrying the weight of most of the world on their shoulders. At bare minimum the true cost should be broken down to see who is paying for what. I think that would turn the focus to more of a practical debate on what is currently going on and then we can sort out some of the tough decisions to be made rather than hiding a faulty system.
As far as COVID with all the experts guessing as to what is going on I’m not sure we have enough facts to be sure as to how to proceed forward with any permanent decisions.