Iowa’s Population Dilemma

During the first decade of the 21st century Iowa’s population grew by an estimated 3.6 percent. Population is a major concern for Iowa’s policymakers because of the need for workers. Iowa’s low unemployment rate is even surpassed by the vast amount of open jobs that need to be filled. Solving Iowa’s workforce dilemma is a bi-partisan priority of Iowa policymakers. […]

Economic Development Incentives Help Big Business at the Expense of Small Business

State and local politicians all over the country seem to love to dole out tax dollars to big businesses in an effort to get them to locate in their area. While they routinely argue that those subsidies will benefit the local economy, economic research does not support that conclusion.   State and local economic development incentives may seem to help […]

A Better Path Forward For Iowa Tax Reform

Iowans Deserve a Better Tax System Now Last year, Iowa’s robust tax reform took a giant step toward reducing burdensome taxes on families and businesses. Unfortunately, many Iowans may never see the benefits of that overhaul because the new law hamstrings its best features, tying them to future revenue benchmarks or “tax triggers” that Iowa may never reach. Those arbitrary […]

Releasing Iowa’s Economic Albatross

All indications, except for the precarious feel of the China trade war, seem to show that Iowa’s economy is doing well.  While we may be enjoying a temporary surge due to President Donald Trump’s economic policies, we must make decisions that grow and sustain our state for the long haul. Iowa competes with other states, both for jobs and people, […]

Iowa needs some (tax) climate change!

Iowa has one of the worst business tax climates in the country. The state cannot afford to wait for more tax relief.   In 2018, the Iowa legislature gave taxpayers the first significant income tax relief legislation in 20 years. However, the relief will be phased in over multiple years, and the income tax rate reduction is subject to a […]

Our Taxes Aren’t “Iowa Nice”

A businessman in Sioux City recently stated it very plainly to us:  “We have stores in seven states.  Iowa is more expensive for property taxes than any other.”   Iowans are, for the most part, hardworking, friendly, and willing to help a stranger in need. Many call this “Iowa nice.”  However, our state’s tax code has been ranked as one […]

Where’s Everyone Going?

In just one year, over 9,000 Iowans moved to Florida, Texas, and South Dakota ­– all states that do not have an income tax.   Since 1980, the nation’s population has grown by more than 40 percent, and Iowa’s population has only grown 7 percent. Tax rates have a direct impact on the population. States with lower tax rates have […]

State Government is Picking Winners and Losers

Iowa competes with 49 states for businesses and people. What policies will allow Iowa to be more competitive and attract more people, businesses, and entrepreneurial activity?   While the economy overall is doing well, Iowa is still confronted with some serious economic problems. Whether it is slow population growth, a growing divide between rural and urban communities, or a shortage […]

Tax Credits Need Accountability and Transparency

Taxpayers are being forced by the government to subsidize businesses.   State and local governments utilize tax credits and incentives to create economic growth. The argument is made that governments need to utilize credits and incentives to not only attract new businesses, but also help existing businesses expand. Whether it is tax credits, incentives, abatements, or the use of TIF […]

Helping Iowa Grow

People vote with their feet. Iowa’s population and economic growth requires lowering income tax rates and controlling spending.   There is clear evidence states that reduce tax rates and control spending not only grow economically but attract new residents. Tax rates matter and the more a government taxes something the less you get. High taxes not only discourage investment, entrepreneurship, […]

The Tax Cuts Are Working!

Unshackling the tax burden from Iowa small businesses does not just allow them to expand, but it also benefits their employees.   Lana Pol, owner of several businesses in Pella and Des Moines recently testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Budget. Ms. Pol was representing the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and she spoke […]

What Happened to My Tax Refund?

This is either lazy reporting or intentionally inaccurate. Tax refunds do not indicate if a person’s tax liability increased or decreased.   Americans across the country are filing their federal income taxes and many are seeing lower than expected refunds or getting the shock of having to pay more taxes to the federal government. Many liberal politicians and media outlets […]

Iowa’s Tax Burden

How does Iowa compare with the other 49 states and Washington, D.C.? The individual income tax rate, corporate income tax rate, sales tax rate all as of January 1, 2019, and property taxes paid as a percentage of owner-occupied housing value for CY 2016 are ranked from 1 to 51 with 1 being the lowest and 51 the highest. Individual […]

Does Government “Help” Prevent Growth?

The Iowa legislature is already making progress in creating a more friendly economic environment for job creators by passing needed tax reform legislation. The tax reform bill signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds begins the process of reducing Iowa’s high individual and corporate tax rates. In addition, this legislation also calls for a strenuous review of Iowa’s many business […]

Iowa Passes Substantial Tax Reform

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate identified tax reform as a priority before the start of the 2018 session. With expectations high for the first significant income tax reform in 20 years, the discussion on tax policy dominated the session. The Governor and lawmakers agreed to a bill on the session’s final day and the […]

The Historical Success Story of Tax Cuts

The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is the most significant tax reform to occur in decades, is creating economic growth and opportunities for Americans. The tax cuts, along with President Donald Trump’s unshackling the economy from excessive regulations, is the cause of this economic renewal. The “new normal” economy of slow economic growth and high unemployment […]

The North Carolina Growth Story Continues

Opponents of tax reduction balk at North Carolina’s historic tax reform as an example that pro-growth tax policies only lead to the bleeding of essential state services. They are wrong.  Since 2013, an economic policy agenda reducing tax rates, regulations, and controlling the growth of spending has been advanced in North Carolina. In the process, North Carolina “began changing the […]

Will Iowa Become a Pro-Growth State?

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Iowa “best state in the nation when it comes to infrastructure, healthcare, opportunity, and education.” Although this ranking is something Iowa can be proud of it does not mean that improvements cannot be made, especially regarding our state’s high and complex tax code. Iowa has some of the highest individual and corporate income […]