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    Iowans to Governor: Raise Our Cigarette and Gas Taxes

    Public hearings reveal some citizens oppose cuts to programs, favor tax hikes to keep them.

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- Some citizens of Iowa are calling for higher taxes on key convenience store category products in order to avoid cutting critical education programs and others due to a state revenue shortfall, according to the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal.

    Jim Rixner, a resident of Sioux City, said, "What I am looking for from you, from our legislators, is people with the courage to say, "Damn it, let's stop this war on our children, let's stop cutting programs that people need desperately." Rixner said the state should "cut expenses where we can," but taxes should be pursued. "Tax cigarettes, tax alcohol, put more taxes on gambling, tax gasoline, do the user taxes, don't raise our property taxes," he said, according to the news report.

    Several attendees at a public hearing yesterday in Sioux City at Western Iowa Tech Community College said lawmakers should strongly consider raising taxes, with liquor and cigarette taxes mentioned most frequently.

    Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack held one of seven public hearings on what he should include in the state budget. Republican leaders have said they won't support tax increases.

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