Protecting the Interests of the Taxpayer: Why the Taxpayer Relief Fund Needs Constitutional Protection

This article was published in the Washington Examiner. Too often the voice of the taxpayer is drowned out by louder special interest lobbyists. Protecting the Taxpayer Relief Fund in the Constitution would ensure that the interests of taxpayers — and their money — are secure. As a taxpayer, did you know that the state of Iowa is currently holding close […]

Federalism Can Help Tame the National Debt

This article was published in National Review. On the current path, it seems inevitable that the federal government won’t live up to its obligations to the states. State policy-makers need to find ways to push back against Washington, D.C. The late constitutional scholar James McClellan described federalism as a principle that the American Founders had woven “into the constitutional fabric” of […]

Tax Cuts Are Not the Problem

Instead of crying wolf every time a minimal amount is cut from their revenue growth, local governments should rein in their spending. The dust hasn’t even settled on a new property tax law that provides tax breaks to seniors and veterans and local governments are already crying wolf. An article published by Axios Des Moines claims the new property tax […]

Blue State Budget Woes: States Cannot Tax and Spend Their Way to Prosperity

This article was published in The Cedar Rapids Gazette. Media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal are beginning to recognize that the Red-state model of limited spending and pro-growth tax reform is working. A recent editorial by The Wall Street Journal highlights several progressive Democrat “Blue” states confronting budget problems as a result of overspending and tax increases. States […]

Iowa Can Still Show D.C. What Fiscal Sanity Looks Like

Lawmakers at every level have control over how much the government spends. If our nation’s lawmakers need an example to emulate for good habits, though, Iowa can show them the playbook. During the most recent debt ceiling drama in our nation’s capital, modest spending reductions were exchanged for an increase in the federal government’s borrowing limit. While that compromise is […]

Iowa vs. Minnesota: Neighboring States Show Different Futures for America

Both Iowa and Minnesota offer contrasting visions for their respective states and for America’s future. If you want to know what the left would do to America, pay close attention to what it is doing to Minnesota. This article was originally published in Real Clear Policy. There is no Berlin Wall or 38th Parallel separating Lyle, Minnesota, from Mona, Iowa, […]

The Debt Ceiling’s Impact on Iowa

When the federal government is forced into true spending cuts, dollars sent to the states could be first on the chopping block. There is an old adage that says a successful compromise is achieved when all parties involved walk away unhappy.  That take might be too cynical, but it is also grounded in reality.  And if that definition is accurate, […]

City Budget Reserves and the Impact on Taxpayers

Some cities may have collected more taxes than they needed and now they’re stockpiling your cash. Why the numbers matter During debate in the 2023 Iowa Legislature over a technical correction related to the taxable value of properties, the spotlight touched on the topic of reserve funds. The correction in question lowers the amount of taxable valuation cities and other local governments […]

Where are Iowa Cities Spending Property Taxes?

Iowa cities do important work, and that requires the collection of taxes. Problems surface, however, when cities with similar populations and services spend vastly different amounts of taxpayers’ money. Iowa’s 940 cities collect around 30% of all the property taxes we pay each year. Many of us are supportive of spending on law enforcement, emergency management, and roads. Where disagreement […]

Iowa is at the Forefront of Conservative Budgeting

This article was published in Real Clear Policy, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and the Telegraph Herald. Both Governor Reynolds and legislative leaders have made Iowa a fiscal example for other states and the federal government to follow. President Calvin Coolidge regarded “a good budget as among the most noblest monuments of virtue.” President Coolidge’s fiscal conservatism is being exemplified at […]

Conservative Budgeting Continues for FY2024

Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature continue to toe the line for taxpayers through 2024 with prudent budgeting. Despite national economic uncertainty resulting from high inflation, Iowa’s fiscal foundation was strong heading into the 2023 legislative session. One important reason for this success is the continued priority Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature are placing on prudent budgeting. In […]

Legislature Passes Property Tax Reform Measure

This legislation delivers more transparency and spending restraint for taxpayers. However, future property tax reform must be pursued and include strong budget or spending limits applied to entire local government budgets. A wide-ranging package of property tax reforms were approved inside the Iowa State Capitol this week, as a compromise bill (HF 718) passed both legislative chambers with overwhelming bipartisan […]

Iowans Feeling the Squeeze

The recent ITR Foundation poll shows Iowans are concerned about their own financial stability and the role inflation and government tax-and-spend policies have on their budget. Iowans are increasingly concerned about the economy, with high inflation and national economic uncertainty contributing to their anxiety. A recent poll conducted by ITR Foundation found that 74.4 percent of Iowans believe the nation is heading […]

Truth-in-Taxation Would Benefit Iowa Taxpayers

This article was published in the Iowa Capital Dispatch. Truth-in-Taxation forces local governments to be more transparent, holds local governments accountable, and provides an opportunity for citizens to have an honest conversation with their elected officials about property taxes. Frustration with high property taxes is reaching a boiling point, especially after taxpayers across Iowa are receiving their assessment notices. Taxpayers […]

March Revenues Continue to Exceed Forecast

With three-quarters of the fiscal year behind us, the state is continuing to outperform last year. Iowa’s revenue report for March has been released and the data revealed net General Fund revenue for the month was $39 million (7.3%) above the March 2022 net revenue level. When broken down by the three largest sources (personal income tax, sales/use tax, and corporate income […]

President Biden’s Budget Threatens Main Street

Iowa taxpayers and small businesses would be better served if federal policymakers made the TCJA permanent, pushed back on proposed tax increases, and fought inflation by cutting government spending. This article was published in The Cedar Rapids Gazette. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) brought historic tax relief to taxpayers. Taxpayers and small business owners across Iowa benefited greatly […]