At a time when property taxes are increasing across the state, requirements must be put into place to ensure Iowans have transparency on decisions about bonds and local tax increases. Iowa has long been at the forefront of elections in the United States. Since the 1970s, both major political parties have held their caucuses in the state, and around 93% […]
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 […]
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 […]
Click here to download your copy of Iowans Favor Income Tax Constitutional Protection one-pager. Iowa has made great progress in reducing income taxes over the past few years. One question that is now being asked is, what is the best way to protect taxpayers from dramatic and damaging increases in the future? The most recent ITR Foundation poll found that over 60% of Iowans […]
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 […]
Property taxes are a heavy burden for Iowans and voters are demanding that the legislature step up to offer some relief. The most recent ITR Foundation poll found that a full two-thirds of Iowans support the general assembly setting limits on how much a local government can tax and spend in order to control the growth of property taxes.
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 […]
Iowa counties do important work. However, problems surface when counties with similar populations and services spend vastly different amounts of taxpayers’ money. Iowa’s 99 counties collect the third-largest portion of property taxes statewide, after cities and school districts — representing approximately 22 percent of the overall property tax burden. Counties have historically played a major role in the conduct of […]
It turns out that defining the proper role of local government, deciphering between wants and needs, and frustrated property taxpayers are not dynamics that are unique to Iowa. Our friends at
The Cardinal Institute in West Virginia are working through those same issues in their state. In a recent article, Cardinal’s Executive Director, Garrett Ballengee joined with Mark Moses, a former city finance administrator and local budget expert, to examine municipal finance and discuss the concept of mission creep.
Further protection for the taxpayer can be good policy, but lawmakers must ensure there are no unintended consequences along the way. The Iowa Legislature is considering a joint resolution that would establish protections for Iowa taxpayers in the state constitution. Senate Study Bill 1207 and House Study Bill 232 propose two amendments. The first would require two-thirds of both chambers […]
Iowa’s future has never looked brighter. When crafting the budget, policymakers must remain focused on limiting spending so our state can continue on the path to prosperity. The March Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) recently confirmed that revenue projections continue to be strong, demonstrating the resilience of Iowa’s economy. The REC is responsible for estimating state revenue, which is challenging when […]
Some counties may be holding on to more reserve funds than necessary. 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 counties and other local governments can draw from, and […]
Iowa is demonstrating financial resiliency on numerous measures, despite the uncertainty plaguing the broader American economy. The State Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met on March 10, 2023 to evaluate the current (FY23) and the next two fiscal years (FY24 and FY25). Members on the REC mentioned that Iowa’s withholdings are starting to show impacts from the tax cuts, but Iowa continues to […]
By cutting taxes and state spending, Governor Kim Reynolds has put the state on the path to a robust economy.
Iowa’s fiscal foundation remains strong despite national economic uncertainty because of the state’s fiscal conservatism and prudent budgeting.
Governor Kim Reynolds has made Iowa a leader in conservative fiscal policy. This approach has already left more money in taxpayers’ pockets, and set the state on course to implement a low, flat income tax by 2026.
With two-thirds of the fiscal year behind us, the state is continuing to outperform last year. Iowa’s revenue report for February has been released and the data revealed net General Fund revenue for the month was $35.9 million (5.7%) above the February 2022 net revenue level. When broken down by the three largest sources (personal income tax, sales/use tax, and corporate income […]
While some proposals want to fund more spending, a bill has been introduced in the Senate to utilize the Taxpayer Relief Fund to phase-out the income tax altogether. “Keep your eye on one thing and one thing only: how much government is spending, because that’s the true tax,” the late economist Milton Friedman once stated. Paying out public dollars is the […]
The benefit of switching to a set dollar exemption is taxpayers would receive a predictable and permanent form of relief that does not depend on the state’s fiscal situation. A tax bill proposed in the 2023 Legislature would switch Iowa from a credit to an exemption as the form of property tax relief for homesteads — or residents’ primary housing. […]
This article was published in the Des Moines Register, Cedar Rapids Gazette, and the Telegraph Herald. Iowa has 37 executive branch cabinet agencies — more than all neighboring states. The governor’s proposal is to reduce the number of executive-level agencies to 16, making government more efficient while saving taxpayer dollars. Since assuming office, Governor Kim Reynolds has placed a priority […]
Iowa county bond information is not easy to acquire. State law should require county auditors to have this information on their website and also require the Secretary of State’s office to aggregate this information so news outlets and interested parties could more easily report on bonds and property tax increases being asked at special elections. On March 7, 2023, thirty-five Iowa […]
A proposed $43 million expenditure will be placed on Urbandale’s March 7th ballot requiring 60% approval to pass. If the special election harbors the same voter turnout as last year’s special election, just 14% of voters could commit their community to tens of millions of dollars in spending. The burden of property taxes is a heavy one for many Iowans […]
This article was published in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Despite numerous changes, lasting relief has not been delivered and Iowa currently has the 10th-highest property tax burden in the nation. If you have lived in Iowa for any length of time, then you know property taxes are, without a doubt, the most despised tax in the state. That’s why numerous […]
Simplifying the tax code and forcing cities to live within the general fund levy rate will result in tax relief for property taxpayers. Over the course of Iowa’s history, the legislature has approved multiple property tax levies dedicated to specific uses in municipalities. Many of these special levies came into existence decades ago and no longer serve a purpose. Iowa […]
A spending limitation would deliver lasting property tax relief by taking a head on approach to addressing runaway local government spending. Property taxes are a concern for taxpayers across the nation and it seems Iowa is not the only place where lawmakers are attempting to deliver much needed relief from the burden of local government spending. The Montana Legislature is […]
Iowans and their state government know how to live within their means; it’s time local governments do the same.
If you are following the 2023 Iowa legislative session, then you know there is a lot of proposed legislation aimed at reforming and lowering the property tax. This is because local governments in Iowa have a spending problem. Since 2000, total property taxes collected have increased nearly 120%, well outpacing inflation. The increased spending has put a burden on taxpayers that cannot be ignored.
Iowa’s taxpayers deserve better constitutional protections against the unquenchable appetite for government spending. Stronger limits can ensure spending remains under control, especially when fiscally conservative policymakers are absent. Introduction Going into the 2023 legislative session, Iowa’s fiscal foundation is strong. The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC), which is a three-person collaboration between the governor’s office and the Legislative Services Agency, is […]