Uncle Sam is broke and the nation is on the verge of a serious debt crisis, if we are not already in one. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released an alarming report regarding the nation’s fiscal health and their conclusions aren’t good. The report, which should be taken very seriously, flatly states, “The federal government faces an unsustainable fiscal future.” Consider the magnitude of Congress’s own watchdog cautioning the nation that we cannot continue down the same spending path we are on.
It appears the Republican Party will maintain Iowa’s first in the nation status for its 2024 presidential caucus, but uncertainty remains whether Democrats will continue to have Iowa leadoff their party’s nominating process. Iowa’s first in the nation presidential caucuses have become a tradition and are an integral part of the state’s political culture. As a reminder, Donald Trump won Iowa’s Republican caucus in 2020 and Pete Buttigieg was the choice of Iowa Democrats that year.
For fifteen years the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has produced Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. This broad index measures 15 policy variables that ALEC has deemed important to economic growth, with a particular focus on tax and spending policies.
The United States is growing more dependent on foreign nations for necessities, including potentially hostile nations such as China. As we examined last month, 2021 was the 10th straight year America’s trade deficit with the Chinese eclipsed $300 billion. If that pattern is not alarming enough, though, there’s more worrisome activity being undertaken by China: the massive acquisition of American farmland. By the United States Department of Agriculture’s own estimate, investments from China held $2 billion of American agricultural land at the beginning of 2020.
March Madness wrapped up last week with the Kansas Jayhawks being crowned National Champions. While there may not be many Iowans who joined Jayhawk fans in celebrating that victory, there was another win in Kansas that we can all be happy about: property taxes. The map above identifies 21 Kansas counties that actually experienced a decline in property taxes this year.
Before examining what caused the big win in Kansas (the property taxes, not the basketball), we should reflect on the property tax situation in our state. Iowans are demanding property tax relief and nobody can blame them. Even before inflation reached record highs, putting a major squeeze on household budgets, Iowans felt the pain of having a heavier property tax burden than 40 other states.
A few recent headlines have passed without much attention. The first story is our national debt has reached $30 trillion, while the second is the trade deficit for 2021 hit a record $859.1 billion. Both stories were virtually ignored because the American people have just become numb to the topics, though they may be missing some wider ramifications, especially when it comes to trade.
For several years we have praised North Carolina for its historic tax reform. The Tarheel State is the gold standard for prudent state tax policy that pairs conservative budgeting with shrinking tax rates. Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa’s legislature have followed a similar path to deliver pro-growth tax reform by balancing restrained spending growth with income tax cuts. Years of prudent budgeting enabled the passage of historic tax reform this year, which will create a flat 3.9 percent income tax rate by 2026.
By John Hendrickson This past week we lost a champion of liberty with the passing of Bob Williams. Bob served as a state legislator from Washington and he founded two state policy think tanks, Evergreen Freedom Foundation and the Washington Policy Center. As a lawmaker and as a public policy professional, Bob Williams was a budget hawk and a defender […]
Let’s make something clear right away: Iowa’s state budget is going to continue to grow in the coming years. The only reason that point may be in question is Iowa’s Revenue Estimating Conference (REC), which has the difficult responsibility of estimating revenue for the state, recently released updated projections. The REC increased the current fiscal year (2022) estimate by 4.2 […]
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 […]
Many people have been probably told by either a parent, grandparent, or even a teacher that “honesty is the best policy.” This rule should also apply to local governments. 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 […]
Image: Governor Kim Reynolds “This campaign is more than a contest between two men. It is more than a contest between two parties. It is a contest between two philosophies of government,” stated President Herbert Hoover in describing his differences with then-Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Governor Kim Reynolds, just as with President Hoover, offered a different philosophy of government […]
Yesterday the Iowa legislature passed a historic tax reform measure. Going into the 2022 legislative session Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature made tax reform a priority. The tax relief bill passed by both chambers phases in a 3.9 percent flat rate for individual income tax by 2026, a major reduction from today’s top marginal rate of 8.53 percent. […]
Tax rates matter. Whether it is allowing individuals to keep more of their hard-earned income or creating a more competitive economic climate, tax rates have a significant impact on a state. States are in economic competition with each other for both businesses and people. It is important for Iowa not to become complacent as numerous states are looking at reducing […]
The roadmap to tax reform begins with a prudent budget and that’s precisely what Governor Kim Reynolds is planning for Iowa. For Fiscal Year 2023, which begins this July, Governor Reynolds is proposing an $8.2 billion General Fund budget. That amount equates to an increase of nearly $100 million dollars in new state spending for the budget as a whole. […]
Governor Kim Reynolds, in her Condition of the State address this week, delivered a Reagan-esque take on the finer points of governing. “Under these ceilings, next to this marble, among these columns and portraits, it’s tempting to believe that nothing good happens unless we legislate it, regulate it, or fund it. But in the small towns, around kitchen tables, in […]
Senator Dan Dawson, chair of the Iowa Senate Ways & Means Committee, speaking before the Iowa Taxpayers Association (ITA) stated that his tax policy goal for the 2022 legislature is to create a “21st century model” that will create the best tax climate in the nation. “We have the opportunity to do a tax reform moonshot here in Iowa,” stated […]
The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC), which is tasked with estimating revenue for the State of Iowa, met last week and continued to project healthy revenues for both Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023. “Six and a half months from now, there’s going to be a pretty significant ending balance and so I think the General Assembly and the governor are in […]
The Tax Foundation has released the 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index today and for the second year in a row, Iowa has moved up two spots. Out of all 50 states, Iowa is now ranked 38 after landing at 42 in 2020’s rankings. As a result of the comprehensive tax reform law in 2018 and other recent reforms, Iowa’s […]
Did you know the state of Iowa has a fund called the Taxpayer Relief Fund? It’s true, that’s the actual name. While we are fans of almost everything with “tax relief” in its name, that’s not even the best part. Right now, that Fund has a balance of $1.1 billion. But it gets better: by the end of the […]
Pro-growth tax reform is on the move in several states. This year 14 states have enacted tax reforms, which would have been unheard of just a year ago. The good news about tax reform doesn’t end with 2021, though. It appears that many states, including Iowa, are poised to keep reducing the tax burden on their citizens. Voters in Louisiana […]
“School choice shouldn’t be limited to those who have the financial means or are lucky to live in a district that’s confident enough to allow open enrollment. So, let us make choice an option for everyone.” – Governor Kim Reynolds Recently, Governor Reynolds became the first Governor in the nation to sign the Education Freedom Pledge. The American Federation […]
When will the supply chain crisis be resolved? Americans are being told that they will just have to “deal” with empty store shelves and are starting to realize that “Build Back Better” is more of a wrecking ball. “Thanksgiving turkeys may be more expensive and harder to find. Buy your bird now, the experts say,” ran a headline in the […]
The Republican Ascendancy of the 1920s is associated with a return to conservative politics with the presidential administrations of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. Warren G. Harding, who was elected President in the election of 1920, initiated an era of conservative government based upon policies that were rooted in constitutional limited government. Harding was a constitutional conservative […]
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is a leading conservative who is fighting for the America First agenda. Recently, Senator Hawley introduced the “Make in America to sell in America Act,” in an effort to address the supply chain crisis and the troubling dependency upon foreign countries for necessities. Americans are being confronted with increasing prices due to inflation and a clogged […]