Somebody Must Call the Bingo Numbers!

Iowans recently scored a huge income tax reform victory but are still frustrated with out-of-control property taxes. 

Additionally, how should cities, counties, and school districts use the nearly $1.2 billion in federal funds they received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)?

ITR Foundation has solutions to those issues as well as some school choice stories for you to check out.

Somebody Must Call the Bingo Numbers!

Reports that the Iowa Legislature eliminated the retirement income tax so that there would be enough people around to call the Bingo numbers have proven to be false. Okay, while that thought may have never actually crossed anyone’s mind, our elected officials were certainly thinking about how to keep retirees in our state when they eliminated Iowa’s tax on retirement income this month.

“Beginning in tax year 2023, the tax liability for nearly 295,000 Iowa taxpayers will be eliminated under the retirement provision of this new tax law,” stated Governor Reynolds.

Retirees are the foundation of many communities across Iowa. They provide countless hours of volunteer service and contribute greatly to the culture of Iowa. Eliminating income taxes on retirees may not prevent some from escaping the cold winters, but an improved tax climate should encourage them to stick around the rest of the year.

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How Do Iowans Want ARPA Funds Used?

Nothing says “overreach” like one government forcing another to spend $1 billion, but of course, that’s the situation Iowa’s local governments find themselves in. As we’ve written about, cities, counties, and school districts in Iowa have collectively received nearly $1.2 billion dollars from Uncle Sam through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and there are lots of ways to utilize that money.

While the federal government has provided guidelines for the use of ARPA funds, local governments actually have a fair amount of discretion they can exercise when it comes to spending those dollars.

In the most recent ITR Foundation Poll, we asked what the top priority should be for local governments when it comes to using ARPA funds. Here is how Iowans believe those funds should be used.

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Honesty is the Best Policy

Many people have probably been told by either a parent, grandparent or even a teacher that “honesty is the best policy.” Taxpayers across the country are demanding answers on why local policymakers cannot deliver property tax relief. In response, a growing number of states are enacting strong Truth-in-Taxation laws that force local governments to be more transparent, accountable, and honest with taxpayers.

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School Choice: Fighting Fear with Facts

Opponents of school choice want you to believe that it would hurt our public schools and that public money should not be used for private institutions. ITR Foundation Deputy Director Walt Rogers sat down with Need to Know host Jeff Angelo to discuss these myths and why those objections do not hold water. 

Listen to Walt and Jeff Angelo. The discussion starts at the 21:00 minute mark.

School Choice Stories in Iowa

On the heels of school choice day at the capitol last week, we wanted to share these success stories:

Royal Legacy Christian Academy opened its doors in 2008 to provide an affordable and accessible alternative to traditional public schools.  Watch Video

Joshua Christian Academy in Des Moines offers its students hope and opportunity they would not otherwise have had in traditional public schools.  Watch Video

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