Embracing Free-Market Principles

As 2022’s legislative session kicked off this week, Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation offers a blueprint to free-market solutions that will grow our economy.

For several years now, states across the nation have been demonstrating two remarkably different approaches to economic policy. One set of states seems to believe that high taxes, rapid spending growth, and lots of regulation are the key to prosperity. Each of those policy strategies point to a belief that government can and should be heavily involved in driving economic growth. States like Illinois, California, and New York have embraced that philosophy. Those three states have seen their population growth lag behind the rest of the country, and they will lose Representatives in Congress because of it.

The opposite approach to growth embraces free-market principles. This strategy believes in less government involvement, and instead places faith in the ingenuity and determination of its citizens and businesses. Florida, North Carolina, and Texas, for instance, have grown faster than the rest of the country and will soon be sending more members to Congress because of it. Those three states have spent the past decade crafting policies that lower taxes, reduce the regulatory burden, and rely on the choices of their citizens instead of government mandates and control.

Governor Kim Reynolds has made growing Iowa’s economy and creating opportunity a cornerstone of her policy agenda. The governor, along with the legislature, has enacted a series of tax reform measures that have begun the process of reducing the tax burden. Equally important, Iowa lawmakers have restrained the growth of spending.

2022 is an inflection point for Iowa. Elected officials who want people to move to our state, our jobs to be filled, and our economy to grow, have decisions to make. They can follow the lead of President Biden and the U.S. Congress and attempt to find a government solution for each of their goals. But they could also choose to build on the policy foundation they’ve laid over the past several years by removing barriers to work and allowing Iowans to hold onto more of their own money. The free-market solutions presented below are a blueprint for growth and a reliable roadmap for Iowa’s future.

Check out the full report for the free-market perspective on these issues:

  • Income Tax Reform
  • Property Tax Reform
  • Regulation
  • Workforce

Right now, local governments are putting together the budgets that will be the driving force behind your property tax bill.  That’s right- the local budgets are what drive your property tax bill, not your assessment. 

A majority of Iowans, 63.4 percent, believe that property taxes are too high. The concern over property taxes surpasses the rural-urban divide and political party identification. Taxpayers are often left wondering why they never see property tax relief or why their inquiries about high taxation go unanswered. Policymakers have an opportunity to finally address high property taxes and deliver tax relief by implementing a Truth-in-Taxation law.

Utah and Kansas serve as the gold standard for taxpayer-friendly Truth-in-Taxation laws. Kansas, which passed their law in 2021, is already seeing amazing results. More than half of all cities, counties, townships, school districts, and special tax districts in Kansas decided to not increase property tax this year.  Now that they must be honest about tax increases, officials presiding over 1,900 local government entities suddenly decided they could provide services a little more efficiently.  That’s the power of honesty and transparency.

The Des Moines Register and Quad City Times both recently published an article we authored with our friend and colleague, Dave Trabert of the Kansas Policy Institute, that outlines why a direct notification Truth-In-Taxation measure is needed in Iowa.  You can also check out the full article on the ITR Foundation website.

Do you want to play a role in the policy decisions that affect your community?  Do you want to learn how you can have a say in shaping your state’s future?  ITR Foundation has teamed up with Iowans for Tax Relief and Americans for Prosperity to host a free workshop on how to impact your lawmakers. These organizations bring years of experience to share- from educating engaged citizens around the state to serving as lawmakers inside the Iowa Capitol.

Don’t miss out! Be sure to register today!


Last night, ITR Foundation’s Deputy Director Walt Rogers was featured on a Facebook Live School Choice 101 event hosted but The Iowa Standard. Other special guests included School Choice Expert Corey DeAngelis, and House Education Committee Vice-Chair Representative Skyler Wheeler.  If you missed it, do not worry.  Click here to watch the full video in its entirety. 

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