March 5th Special Election: Property Tax Increases Take Center Stage on Ballots

More than a dozen school districts and one county are seeking property tax hikes on top of assessments that are already elevated. The March 5, 2024, special election in 13 school districts and one county will put property tax increase questions before voters. The school districts are looking for increases in their physical plant and equipment levies (PPELs), which generate […]

Iowa’s Historic Tax Reform Opportunity

This article was published in the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The House and Senate plan creates a mechanism to eventually eliminate the income tax. In 2022, the CATO Institute’s Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors ranked Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds the most fiscally conservative governor in the nation. Since 2018, Governor Reynolds and the legislature have placed a priority on […]

What Is a Revenue Purpose Statement?

Voters should pay close attention to why a district wants a Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) and what it intends to do with the proceeds. Details A Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) is a ballot measure describing how a school district will spend sales tax funds the State of Iowa has dedicated to public schools through a program called Secure an Advanced Vision for Education […]

The Ticking Federal Tax Time Bomb

This article was published in the Telegraph Herald. Tax policy is best when it not only lowers rates but also provides long-term certainty for the economy. With nearly unanimous Republican support, Congress passed, and President Trump signed the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017, which helped create economic expansion over the past six years. Taxpayers and businesses […]

Your Dollars, Not Their Rates

It’s the dollars those governments are pulling from you each year that matter. When it comes to property taxes, don’t get fooled by smoke and mirrors.  A citizen should focus on how many dollars local governments are taking from them.  That’s it.  Don’t take the bait that some officials will dangle in front of you in the form of property […]

House and Senate Release Joint Plan for Tax Cuts, Future Elimination

The Iowa legislature is poised to deliver the benefits of conservative budgeting and pro-growth policies to taxpayers in our state. Heading into the legislative session Governor Kim Reynolds and legislative leaders stated that not only would further income tax reform be a priority, but an opportunity existed to accelerate planned income tax rate reductions. Under current law the income tax rate […]

County Tax Relief Is Not Deprivation

Counties are cashing in on hefty property taxes from high assessments, and reducing rates won’t halt financial gains. You might hear your county officials complaining they are facing dire straits this year because of the new property tax law. The truth is that too many counties have been cashing in on hefty property taxes from rapidly increasing assessments, and redirecting […]

Governor Proposes New Tax Cuts; Legislators Signal Support for Pro-Growth Policies

Iowa’s income tax would drop to 3.5 percent next year under the governor’s proposal.  In her Condition of the State address, Governor Kim Reynolds outlined a pro-growth policy agenda, including a new round of income tax cuts. Gov. Reynolds stated, “ the condition of our state is truly strong.” The reason for this is the fiscally conservative policies Iowa’s elected officials have been […]

Accelerate, Lower, and Eliminate: A Pro-Growth Blueprint to Make Iowa’s Tax Code More Competitive

Additional income tax cuts will generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in economic growth for Iowa. After three significant rounds of tax cuts since 2018, Iowa firmly established itself as the national leader in state-based tax reform. Now, the state government has a real possibility of eliminating the income tax, making Iowa the first state to do so. […]

Session Preview: Property Taxes

Iowa still ranks in the “Bottom 10” nationally when comparing property taxes. The Tax Foundation recently released its annual 2024 State Business Tax Climate Index, which measures the tax competitiveness across the country. Iowa’s standing on the index has been improving every year, and thanks to continuing tax reforms, the 2024 results continued the trend. Last year, Iowa ranked 38th […]

Kim Reynolds is correct to prioritize more income tax reform in 2024

This article was published in the Des Moines Register.

Once again, one of Gov. Kim Reynolds top priorities for the 2024 legislative session is income tax reform. A champion of fiscal responsibility, the governor knows restraining spending and returning tax dollars to the hard-working Iowans who paid them is the best path to economic growth. Once one the of the highest-income-tax states in the nation, Iowa in 2022 passed the most comprehensive tax reform in the United States.

Session Preview: Income Taxes

Policymakers could seize the opportunity to place Iowa’s income tax on a path toward elimination. Iowa is in a strong position to enact even further income tax reforms in 2024, and it must. As more states cut income tax rates, Iowa cannot become complacent. The competition among the states for businesses, jobs, and people is fierce. This is especially true […]

Local Governments to Fund Basic Income Programs

This potential “solution” to economic inequality and poverty is nothing more than a wealth re-distribution tactic that places hard-working taxpayers in the crosshairs. The concept of “Guaranteed Income” or “Universal Basic Income” was introduced to many Iowans by Andrew Yang’s 2020 presidential campaign. Put forth as a potential solution to economic inequality and poverty, its proponents argue that providing a […]

Iowa vs. Minnesota: The Future of State Fiscal Policy

This article was published in Real Clear Policy and Nation Review. When people vote with their feet, they prefer lower taxes and the slim, trim state government Governor Reynolds offers in Iowa.    “A tax-cutting wave is sweeping over America’s states,” The Economist claims in a recent feature, and Iowa, it argues, has “emerged as America’s tax-cutting champion, a paragon […]

Iowa’s Lesson from Colorado’s Proposition HH: New Spending Can Hide in “Tax Relief”

This past election was important for Iowa taxpayers. In addition to candidates for local government offices, Iowans voted on numerous bond proposals covering a variety of county, city, and school district projects. If all of the bond questions had passed, it would have meant $1.72 billion in new spending. During the election, only 22 of the questions achieved the required 60 percent majority for approval, representing an estimated $951.9 million. These results suggest taxpayers are paying more attention to bond questions owing to Iowans’ mounting frustration with high property taxes and recent legislation designed to increase participation.

November 2023 Local Bond Election Results

Iowa counties, cities, and schools put forward bond questions for the election yesterday across 50 counties, covering 75% of the state’s population and totaling a potential $1.72 billion in new spending. The decision facing taxpayers was whether or not they wanted to saddle themselves with new debt and higher property tax bills during a time of rising inflation and national […]

Local Elections Shape Our Communities

By electing responsible city council members and school board officials, and by carefully considering bond issues, we can have a significant impact on the quality and cost of our lives. Voting in local elections, which in Iowa this year includes city council, school board, and new bond issues, is of critical importance for every citizen. While national elections often steal […]

Pro-Growth Tax Reform Improves Iowa’s Tax Competitiveness

The Tax Foundation’s ranking, in combination with continuing surpluses, proves that fiscal conservatism is working in Iowa. Tax rates matter. They are a major factor determining the economic well-being of a state in both the money they leave in the economy and the impressions decision-makers have when comparing states. The Tax Foundation recently released its annual 2024 State Business Tax […]