Spending, Debt, and Tax Increases Threaten Economy

In a recent interview with Tax Education Foundation of Iowa, Dr. Ernie Goss, Professor of Economics at Creighton University, discussed current issues and economic trends for both Iowa and the nation. Goss noted that Iowa’s economy “is still about three or four percent below pre-pandemic levels” but is on the road to recovery.  Although both Iowa’s and the national economy […]

Uncle Sam is Broke

Out-of-control government spending is a dangerous problem that both political parties are failing to address. The United States’ national debt is $28 trillion and rising and the federal government continues to run massive deficits. The COVID-19 pandemic has only escalated government spending. The national debt represents a significant crisis for the nation. A recent review of the federal government’s finances by Truth in Accounting […]

Iowa Needs a Property Tax Solution

  Property taxpayers in Iowa are frustrated. Taxpayers often blame assessors for high property tax bills, but it is government spending that results in high property taxes. Property taxes are also a form of wealth tax.   For example, if the value of a home increased by 10 percent, it does not mean the property owner has a 10 percent […]

Beware of Tax Rate Complacency

Toyota Financial Services recently announced that as a result of consolidating customer service centers, the Cedar Rapids facility will close and cut 600 jobs, due in part to the private sector employing 5% fewer people than a year ago. The consolidation of customer service centers is a loss for Iowa and a win for other states, such as Texas. Businesses […]

Gov. Reynolds Should Reject Federal COVID Relief Money

President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are celebrating the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), which is a $1.9 trillion package aimed at providing COVID-19 relief. The $1.9 trillion “stimulus” is in addition to $4 trillion in previous spending directed towards pandemic relief. The American Rescue Plan will not only add to the escalating $28 trillion […]

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

The late intellectual historian Stephen J. Tonsor wrote that in America, “the Founding is determinative, and the Constitution stands at the very center of American political conservatism.” As Tonsor wrote: Central to conservative doctrine, and the translation of this doctrine into the politics of a particular time and place, is the fear of unchecked power and its centralization…It is for […]

Iowa Needs Job Licensing & Board Reviews

During the last legislative session, the legislature passed, and Governor Kim Reynolds signed a historic occupational licensing reform measure.  The law allows for universal recognition of out-of-state licenses, waives licensing fees for low-income individuals, and establishes a standard for a fairer review process if a license is denied based on past criminal convictions. Policymakers have an opportunity to build upon […]

Conservative Iowa Budget

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature have mainly been following fiscal conservative principles of limiting spending and reducing tax rates. Gov. Reynolds even received an “A” grade from Cato Institute’s 2020 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors for her fiscal conservatism. As a result of conservative budgeting practices, Iowa’s fiscal house was not only prepared for the economic emergency caused […]

Benefits of Competition in Education

During her Condition of the State address, Governor Kim Reynolds outlined a comprehensive school choice reform plan. One aspect of this calls for expanding charter schools in Iowa. Charter schools are public schools that are run independently but are still held accountable to state and federal standards. These schools are currently limited in Iowa but can provide a more flexible […]

Time to Eliminate Barriers to Tax Relief

Tax rates matter, and they play a significant role in how competitive a state economy is in relation to other states. Higher tax rates penalize hard-working individuals, families, and businesses and deter economic growth, making a state less competitive. To make Iowa more economically competitive, Governor Kim Reynolds has made tax reform a priority. Taxes on income, which include both […]

Can Uncle Sam Afford a $1.9 Trillion Stimulus?

President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are pushing for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Congress has already approved $4 trillion in pandemic relief and stimulus measures and billions of that money has yet to be spent. Congress is also considering a $6.1 trillion budget and the $28 trillion national debt continues to escalate. Federal policymakers should avoid another […]

A Needed Reform for Iowa’s Property Taxpayers

Iowa’s high property taxes are a growing concern. The Tax Foundation examined the “effective tax rates on owner-occupied housing” across the United States. Iowa ranked 12th highest in the nation. At the heart of high property taxes is local government spending. Unless spending is controlled, any property tax relief will be limited. Iowa’s property tax system is complex, and more transparency is needed. […]

Coolidge Serves as a Guide for National Policy

In the 20th century, President Calvin Coolidge represents the best example of American conservatism. Whether in his political philosophy or temperament, Calvin Coolidge can serve as a guide for today’s conservatives. Conservatives during the 1920s placed the American Founding and the Constitution as their philosophical center as a “veritable cult of Constitution worship flourished.” As President, Coolidge was a champion […]

All Kids Deserve Educational Opportunities

From my experience traveling across Iowa and visiting with parents and teachers, I am convinced that having more choice in education is vital. Real-life stories of change from parents and private school leaders illustrate the importance of choice in education.  A small private school principal in eastern Iowa shared, “We’ve increased our numbers this past year because of COVID-19. Parents […]

Property Taxes are Wealth Taxes

For many Iowans property taxes represent a significant financial burden. A recent independent poll commissioned by TEF Iowa found that close to 50 percent of Iowans surveyed support making property tax relief a priority. Did you know property taxes are a form of wealth tax?  It’s true! For example, if the value of a home increased by 10 percent, it […]

Tax Reform’s Potential to Boost Iowa’s Economy

In 2018, Governor Kim Reynolds and the legislature passed pro-growth tax reform that lowered income tax rates and broadened the sales tax base. Reducing tax rates, along with practicing fiscally responsible spending policies, is making Iowa more competitive and economically strong. However, the annual report, Rich States, Poor States, describes how states across America continue to advance policies that help […]

Governor Reynolds Focuses on Moving Iowa Forward

Governor Kim Reynolds, in her Condition of the State address, outlined a pro-growth policy agenda that will continue to strengthen Iowa’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, she also proposed a bold education reform package that will create more opportunities for parents and children across Iowa. As the legislature begins to formulate policy, it is imperative that they […]

Eliminate Barriers to Open Enrollment

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the discussion over education delivery in Iowa. Many Iowa parents are struggling with their children learning from home or balancing a hybrid system of in-school and online learning. In addition, many children are being impacted by the “COVID slide” and are falling behind academically. This has led to a growing call for more parental choice […]

Conservative Budgeting is the Best Path Forward

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC), which is tasked with the difficult job of projecting state revenues, held their December meeting and is estimating Iowa will collect $8.2 billion in revenue for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The REC also increased the current FY 2021 estimate to $7.9 billion, which is a $65 million increase from their previous projection. The REC will […]