Legislation in Iowa Bans Universal Basic Income Programs Amidst National Debate

A version of this article appeared in Real Clear Markets. The solution for reducing poverty does not reside in UBI programs. The best path to reduced welfare is the ready availability of jobs. Persuaded that universal basic income (UBI) programs would do more harm than good, the Iowa Legislature has passed a bill to ban such initiatives at the local […]

Iowa’s K–12 School Debt Hits New Levels

Iowa public schools’ outstanding debt has reached $5.2 billion, equivalent to 63% of the state’s annual budget. Schools levy more property taxes than any other category of local government in Iowa. And while a large portion of their funding is driven by the school finance formula, the debt they carry is a direct reflection of local decision-making; paying off that […]

Des Moines Teaches a Lesson in Economic Development Failure

Elected officials and bureaucrats always have big “economic development” plans. However, these plans are ineffective and cost taxpayers dearly. The changing fortunes of downtown Des Moines, the people who live and work there, and the companies that call it home should teach us all a lesson on the limitations of local governments’ economic development efforts. In the real world, even […]

Why So Much School Debt Is Not Voter Approved

Revenue bonds do not require voter approval, and they made up 44% of total outstanding K–12 debt in 2023. Iowans are familiar with the bond votes that occur every year for local government, especially those for local school districts wanting to build new facilities or renovate existing ones. Thankfully, the Constitution of the State of Iowa places a limit on […]

From Policy to Practical Action: Focus Locally for a Stronger Republic

The federal government may be a mess, but in Georgia and Iowa, things are getting done. Kimberley Strassel, a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, was the keynote speaker at this year’s annual Georgia Freedom Dinner hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  Strassel’s writing, especially her weekly “Potomac Watch” column, typically involves national politics and the federal government. […]

Governor Kim Reynolds: “Safe-Sane-Steady”

This article was published in the Des Moines Register. Whether it is fiscal conservatism, reforming state government, fighting against the radical woke cultural Marxism, or fighting to protect American soil, Governor Reynolds is leading Iowa as a strong conservative. “Safe-Sane-Steady” was one of the campaign slogans used by President Calvin Coolidge during the 1924 presidential campaign. “Safe-Sane-Steady” reflected Coolidge’s policies […]

Property Tax Reforms Remain Unfinished Business

The last major piece of legislation for 2024 included a technical correction to last year’s property tax law that comes with a lesson. The Iowa Legislature has recently been trying to perfect a construct that is flawed at its core: property taxes. Iowans have one of the highest property tax burdens in the country, ranking the 10th highest among states.  While […]

Improving Iowa’s Future with Conservative Budgeting and Tax Cuts

This article was published in The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Telegraph Herald, and The Gazette. Unsustainable increases in spending can lead to severe consequences. Iowa’s success in maintaining fiscal discipline is a testament to its effectiveness. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-led Legislature have emphasized conservative budgeting as a central priority. Such prudence in budgeting is the cornerstone of fiscal […]

Iowa Accelerates Transition to a Low Flat Tax

This article was published in National Review. The flat tax will now start a year earlier, and at a slightly lower rate, than originally planned. “The headline of this session is simple: Iowa’s income-tax rate will be the 6th lowest in the country,” stated Iowa senate majority leader Jack Whitver. Going into the legislative session, Governor Kim Reynolds and legislative leaders had […]

Council Bluffs Streetcar Needs to Slow Down

This article was published in The Daily Nonpareil. At a time when property valuations are increasing at double-digit rates and inflation is cutting into household budgets, Council Bluffs should be reducing its reliance on property taxes and making them more consistent, not introducing expenses and uncertainty. The $440 million Omaha streetcar project is in the first stages of construction across […]

Iowa Completes a Pro-taxpayer Legislative Session: Over $1 Billion in Tax Relief

By Chris Hagenow and Grover Norquist This article was published in the Des Moines Register. Pro-growth tax reforms combined with conservative budgeting are strengthening Iowa’s economy and creating a strong fiscal foundation. Iowa is quickly becoming one of the most taxpayer-friendly states in the country. On the heels of delivering a historic income tax cut just two years ago, Republicans used […]