A Rock Chalk Taxpayer Protection

Truth-in-Taxation: A Rock Chalk Taxpayer Protection

March Madness wrapped up this month with the Kansas Jayhawks being crowned National Champions. While there may not be many Iowans who joined Jayhawk fans in celebrating that victory, there was another win in Kansas that we can all be happy about: property taxes. The map below identifies 21 Kansas counties that actually experienced a decline in property taxes this year.

Even before inflation reached record highs, putting a major squeeze on household budgets, Iowans felt the pain of having a heavier property tax burden than 40 other states.

Here’s just one comment that was sent to us this week that sums it all up:

“Many Iowans like myself would like some relief from high property taxes.  We are all struggling with extremely high prices for food, gas, electricity, etc. How are we supposed to live and keep our homes?”

As inflation drives up the prices of those necessities, eating away wages and savings in the process, financial pain becomes more acute. Unfortunately, local governments are failing to address this problem. In fact, even when the state picks up the check for certain services, some local governments won’t pass on the full savings to taxpayers.

Taxpayers deserve a policy solution for property tax relief. The gold standard policy for property tax reform is Truth-in-Taxation, with Utah and Kansas providing the best policy models. Though passed in Kansas just last year, the law is already delivering for property taxpayers there.

Check out our full article to learn more about a common-sense property tax solution built on honesty and transparency.

Foreign Acquisition of American Agriculture

America’s citizens and our elected officials are right to be wary when nations such as China are acquiring greater amounts of farmland. Iowa in particular understands that agriculture production must not be jeopardized at the expense of foreign interests, as it is one of six states that ban foreign ownership of farmland.

While there are ways that state-level land ownership restrictions can be evaded, Iowa’s laws do a good job of ensuring Iowa farmland stays in the hands of domestic producers. What’s more possible for our state is that the other components of food production, like processing plants, could be acquired and controlled by foreign nations.

One of the lessons learned since 2020 is that a disruption of the global supply chain for any reason has long lasting and broadly felt impacts. It does not matter if that disruption is caused by a pandemic, a strained workforce, or outright acts of war; when the flow of goods stops, everyone is affected. The world has come to understand that food production is just as much an issue of national security as high-tech defense systems. From that standpoint it is no surprise that China is actively acquiring the capacity to produce food for their enormous population. The risk for us is when China’s actions come at the expense of American agriculture and Iowa’s economy.

Iowa is a land of plenty for producing basic necessities (don’t forget our energy industry, by the way). It is in America’s national interest to preserve our ability to feed the country and we should be vigilant in protecting that contribution. If we cede that responsibility to a foreign nation, we could be forced into outsourcing food production that is occurring within our own borders.

Learn more about China’s stake in America’s agriculture industry, as well as what some of our elected officials would like to do about it.

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