Talkin’ ARPA

Washington D.C. gave local governments across the country trillions of dollars through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  To understand how that money was spent, ITR Foundation focused on a selection of cities and counties across Iowa, asking each: How much money did you get? How much have you already spent? How much is left? What did you spend ARPA […]

The Impact of the National Recession on Iowa

Politicians, policy makers, and members of the media are scrambling to redefine the term “recession” for the American public.  Sometimes these explanations are counter to the traditional economic classification of a recession which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth, as measured by the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For anyone keeping track at home, though, the economy declined by 1.6 percent during the first […]

The Impact of the National Recession on Iowa

Politicians, policy makers, and members of the media are scrambling to redefine the term “recession” for the American public. Sometimes these explanations are counter to the traditional economic classification of a recession which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth, as measured by the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For anyone keeping track at home, though, the economy declined by 1.6 percent during the first quarter of 2022, and the first estimate of second quarter activity is scheduled to be released on Thursday, July 28; the next announcement of GDP data could signal the arrival of a recession. That GDP release will likely follow another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve as the FOMC tries to turn back inflation that’s at a 40-year high.

Guaranteed Income Veers Away From Role of Local Government

This week’s episode of ITR Live included a discussion of the city of Des Moines’s decision to participate in a pilot program that aims to provide guaranteed income to low-income residents of central Iowa.  While this calls to mind Andrew Yang’s universal basic income proposal from 2020’s Democratic presidential primaries, one significant difference appears to be that this program is being driven by mayors across the country, rather than by the federal government.   In a city that already has a heavy property tax burden, the Des Moines City Council has committed $500,000 to a program that doesn’t fit within the traditional role of local government.

Iowa Voters High on Gov. Reynolds and Conservative Policies, while Biden Slide Continues

The most recent Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation Poll, conducted by Cygnal, shows Governor Kim Reynolds remains popular, President Joe Biden is growing more unpopular, and Iowans strongly support an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that recognizes the right to bear arms.   Additionally, a majority of Iowans support the federal government reducing taxes and spending to combat record-high inflation. Governor Reynolds […]

State Government Employment Trends

One topic that comes up frequently when we sit down with taxpayers across Iowa is the number of people our state government employs.  Iowans intuitively understand that there are very real and significant costs shouldered by the state for each member of its workforce.  For instance, the Legislative Services Agency reports in their most recent Factbook that Iowa spent over $1.5 billion in total compensation just three years ago, accounting for roughly 20% of that year’s state budget.  And that doesn’t even count employees at the three regents universities*!

Biden’s Way or the Iowa Way

As Americans try to deal with the impact of rising inflation, President Biden had a tweet this weekend with his plan to lower gas prices. Biden’s solution is issue a command that gas stations simply lower the price. Brilliant. Chris Hagenow, Chris Ingstad and Sarah Curry get together to discuss this stunning ignorance of free market economics and the audacity to believe that the President holds the power to dictate terms to private citizens.

Post Primary Extravaganza

ITR’s Chris Hagenow, and Ernie Adkison along with ITR Foundation’s Chris Ingstad get together to discuss chickens, bounce houses and pressure washers along with a few other random topics.   The results of Iowa’s primary elections. Big wins for Republican United States Senator Chuck Grassley and his opponent Micheal Franken. State Senator Zach Nunn wins big and will now be […]

A Brighter Future

Host Chris Hagenow was recently named President of Iowans for Tax Relief and is joined by new ITR Foundation President Chris Ingstad to discuss their new roles within the ITR family of organizations. The Chris’s talk about why the future is bright not only for their organizations but, more importantly, for the future of the state of Iowa. After explaining […]

Rural Schools Stand to Benefit from School Choice

Rural citizens and legislators are concerned that school choice would take critical funding away from their local schools. ITR Foundation Deputy Director Walt Rogers sat down with Need to Know host Jeff Angelo to debunk this myth and explain how school choice would improve education quality through the competition. The discussion starts at the 9:25 minute mark.

How Does Your Property Tax Bill Compare?

How’s your property tax bill?  If you tell us it’s too high, we won’t argue with you.  In fact, we keep proposing solutions to deliver stronger taxpayer protections.  But property taxes exist to fund our K-12 education system and city and county governments, as well as other services we all have access to; they are never going away.  So maybe […]

Did Iowa Spark A Tax Reform Movement?

This year may be one of the most historic for states lowering income tax rates across the nation.  So far, at least six other states have joined Iowa in passing tax cuts, while many more have tax reform legislation under consideration. The graph above illustrates the new rates that will be delivered to individual taxpayers in their respective states. The […]

Is the Media Skipping Facts and Promoting Agendas?

Somehow Hunter Biden has managed to make himself the common thread that ties together a war in Eastern Europe with everything people dislike about politics in America, while pointing to this country’s  collective and completely justified distrust of the media.   We are not suggesting that Hunter’s activities in Ukraine have anything to do with Russia’s invasion.  But if American citizens […]

School Choice: Fighting Fear with Facts

Opponents of school choice want you to believe that school choice will 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 surrounding school choice and why those objections do not hold water.  The discussion starts […]

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 […]

Putting the Taxpayer First

From a taxpayer perspective, the 2022 legislative session is off to a good start. Governor Kim Reynolds, in her Condition of the State address, outlined a pro-growth tax reform plan that calls for a flat 4 percent income tax by 2026. House Republicans have also introduced a tax reform plan that calls for a flat 4 percent tax rate by […]