Tax Foundation 2023 Business Tax Climate Index

Iowa’s tax climate is improving, and more work is needed to lower income and property taxes, but our state has made substantial progress. Once Iowa’s tax reform is fully implemented, it is estimated that Iowa will have the 13th-best tax ranking in the nation. The Tax Foundation has released the 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index, which ranks the states […]

Two Competing Visions of Government

The Cato Institute has released their 2022 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors.  Iowa’s Kim Reynolds was not only one of just five governors who received an A grade from Cato, but this data driven report calculated her score as the highest in the nation!  Since 2008, this report has graded the fiscal policies of our nation’s governors from […]

Senator Jack Whitver

People are angry, frustrated, and worried about where our economy is going. At the state level, Iowa is reducing taxes and reducing spending to combat the bad decisions made in Washington D.C.   Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver is our guest on this episode of ITR Live. As Majority Leader, Whitver leads the Senate Republican caucus, not just through […]

There’s a Red Wave Rising

The latest poll shows tremendous support for conservative candidates up and down the ballot. The Generic Ballot tested at +17 for the GOP, indicating the strongest political environment for Republicans in generations.   Nobody would ever mistake any of the ITR staff for Creedence Clearwater Revival on karaoke night, but just as CCR saw a bad moon rising, we see […]

Harvest Special

Only slightly less inspiring than the harvest season in Iowa is the recently reported strength of our state’s budget and strong fiscal management.

ITR Foundation has the details of the final budget numbers for the past fiscal year and a look at the foundation that has been built for the success of our recent tax cuts. This is the second year in a row Iowa experienced a billion-dollar surplus, as the state ended fiscal year 2021 with a $1.24 billion surplus.

Into the Abyss

ITR Live gets together to talk about Governor Reynolds joining other governors in a lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s student loan forgiven plan. The conversation then turns to our state’s growing budget surplus, and how that stands in stark contrast to the exploding federal debt. John has further thoughts on how our massive federal debt might impact our nation’s future.

How Do Iowans Want ARPA Funds Used?

Nothing says “overreach” like one government forcing another to spend $1 billion, but of course that’s the situation Iowa’s local governments find themselves in.  As we’ve written about, cities, counties, and school districts in Iowa have collectively received nearly $1.2 billion dollars from Uncle Sam through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and there are lots of ways to utilize […]

Governor’s Tax Plan By The Numbers

A state’s tax code is a tricky thing. No two states have identical laws governing their tax systems, so a direct, apples-to-apples comparison between states is impossible. There are lots of details and the details really matter. For instance, what is the standard deduction allowed by a state? This varies across the country, and becomes a key aspect of the tax plan released by Governor Kim Reynolds last week. But a good starting point for a review of all 50 state tax codes is the top marginal tax rate. Stated simply, the top marginal tax rate is the highest rate any given state levies on the income of its citizens and businesses.

Property Taxes Are Too High… Start the Conversation

In Iowa, we expect to receive quality public services at a reasonable cost.

However, in too many school districts, cities, and counties there is a gap between the amount of property taxes extracted from citizens and the growth of the community. For example, one Iowa school district is collecting 90 percent more in property taxes than it did 10 years ago while the number of students has remained the same.

What is going on? Why is this happening? It happens for different reasons in each locality across the state, but the heart of the problem is a failure to talk with local elected officials.

So, if you are upset about your property taxes, select your community below to take a look at the growth gap between property taxes and enrollment/population. Use our built-in email form to easily start a conversation with the people who determine your property tax bill.

Make an Impact Event

Do you want to play a role in the policy decisions that affect your community?  Do you want to learn how you can have a say in shaping your state’s future?  ITR Foundation has teamed up with Iowans for Tax Relief and Americans for Prosperity to host a free workshop on how to impact your lawmakers. These organizations bring years […]

Parents Look to Take Back Local Schools – copy

u003cpu003eParents are fed up with mask and vaccine mandates, gender and race issues in our local schools.  Citizens across Iowa are stepping up and running for their local school boards to take them back.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eRecently, TEF Iowa Deputy Director Walt Rogers spoke with Jeff Angelo on how these frustrations have sparked a movement to get involved in local schools.u003c/pu003en

Placing Property Taxpayers First

Last month, Iowans received their property tax bills, and taxpayers across the state keep asking why their taxes increased so fast. It seems more likely that property taxpayers will see Elvis at their local Casey’s before they see any property tax relief. Iowans across party lines and the urban-rural divide want policymakers to stop making excuses for high property taxes […]

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 […]

Protection for the Taxpayer

During the 2019 Iowa legislative session, the legislature passed a property tax accountability and transparency law. This new law was modeled after Utah’s Truth-in-Taxation law, which is considered the most “taxpayer friendly law.” The 2019 law requires local governments such as counties and cities to hold a public hearing if the proposed budget increases more than two percent (school district […]

Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Continues to Decline

Iowa’s unemployment rate declined from 6 percent in August to 4.7 percent in September. The national unemployment rate for September is 7.9 percent. “September is the fifth consecutive month we have seen a drop in unemployment since the beginning of the pandemic and peak unemployment in April,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. This is good news for Iowa’s […]

Sales Tax Fairness

The sales tax is getting a lot of attention as a result of Governor Kim Reynolds Invest in Iowa Act. One phase of this Act calls for a one cent sales tax increase.  Three-eighths of it would be for the purpose of funding the voter approved Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. In addition, the remaining five-eighths of the […]

For Property Tax Reform Focus on Spending

In 1934, Iowa enacted the first sales and income taxes to provide property tax relief. Today, nearly a century later, Iowa taxpayers still face the challenge of not only high property taxes, but also income and sales taxes.   Between 2000 and 2017, Iowa property taxes increased by more than 100 percent. This increase is more than inflation and population […]

Tax Credits

Iowa Has One of the Worst Business Climates in the Nation 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, […]

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 […]

‘Cadillac Tax’ will hit Iowans hard

The Cedar Rapids Gazette recently published a guest column from Walt Rogers, TEF Iowa Deputy Director about the impending implementation of the “Cadillac Tax.” Under the Cadillac Tax, the federal government will impose a 40 percent excise tax on all employer-sponsored health insurance plans, as well as workplace-provided health care and wellness programs.   ‘Soaring deductibles and medical bills are […]