First, Do No Harm

By Matthew D. Mitchell, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center   COVID-19 presents a challenge of extraordinary scale and complexity. State policymakers across the country, like so many of us, want to know what they can do to help our nation’s healthcare professionals rise to this challenge. Their first task should be to eliminate or suspend laws that stand in the […]

Acts of Community and Service in Iowa

News outlets across Iowa are reporting on examples of humanitarianism and service during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) health emergency. These news stories are documenting the actions that businesses and individuals are providing in this time of crisis.  Below are a few of those stories. KCRG Channel 9 – Des Moines Dubuque Hy-Vee stores giving away more than 40,400 mini peaches at […]

The Spirit of Community and Service

News outlets across Iowa are reporting on examples of humanitarianism and service during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) health emergency. These news stories are documenting the actions that businesses and individuals are providing in this time of crisis.  And while this type of reporting is wonderful, it’s not able to include the countless unseen acts of kindness as Iowans help each other […]

Herbert Hoover: The Humanitarian

Herbert Hoover, who served as the 31st President of the United Sates, was born in 1874 in the small village of West Branch, Iowa. Growing up he was shaped by his Quaker upbringing. Orphaned at a young age he went to live with an Uncle in Oregon and eventually he enrolled at Stanford where he graduated with a degree in […]

State Tax Reform’s Gold Standard

North Carolina is one of the state’s best prepared to deal with the budget challenges from the new coronavirus outbreak. It also represents the gold standard for state tax reform, and the connection between these two should not be lost. The Tar Heel state has successfully reduced tax rates, while controlling the growth of spending and funding the priorities of […]

COVID-19’s Economic Impact Uncertain

  In our current situation, prudence is the best fiscal policy.   The economic impact of COVID-19 or the coronavirus is still uncertain. This national health emergency has resulted in business closures, unstable markets, and uncertainty as to when Americans can return to normalcy. Prior to COVID-19, the national economy, as well as Iowa’s, were both doing well; now fears […]

Coronavirus and Occupational Licensing

States Lead The Way in Coronavirus Crisis With Emergency Removal of Occupational Licensing Obstacles—Why Not Make Them Permanent?   Today, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the Department of Health and Human Services is considering a national emergency order that would allow doctors throughout the country to practice across state lines. This would be a good move, and luckily, many […]

Are PILOTs Needed?

In Des Moines, PILOTs (payment in lieu of taxes) on non-profits are being considered to address high property taxes. Should government focus more on additional revenue or fight for less spending?   The city of Des Moines is trying to address high property taxes and PILOTs are being considered as a solution.  PILOTs or payment in lieu of taxes, are payments […]

Empowering Property Taxpayers

Reducing the property burden is a priority for most Iowans. Cities and counties across Iowa are in the process of planning their budgets and holding public hearings. Government spending is at the heart of high property tax rates, and these budget hearings will not just establish what the city or county intends to spend, but also determine your future property […]

Tax Relief and Economic Growth

Iowa begrudgingly endures some of the nation’s highest personal and corporate income taxes. Those high taxes hamper economic growth and make our state less affordable for families and less competitive for businesses. Even after recent improvements, tax reform remains a high priority for the Hawkeye State.   So we applaud Governor Reynolds for proposing the Invest in Iowa Act and […]

Removing the Occupational Licensing Wall

Iowa, along with several other states, is considering occupational licensing reform. Reducing occupational licensing barriers will provide new opportunities for workers, attract new people to Iowa, and create a more competitive business environment. One aspect of occupational licensing reform is establishing reciprocity, or a universal licensing recognition, for out-of-state licensees. The Iowa legislature is currently considering reciprocity as part of […]

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 […]

Navigating Tax Reform

Reforming a state tax code in order to provide relief, economic growth, and create a more competitive economic climate is difficult. A major reason for this difficulty is tax rate reduction is in direct conflict with numerous policy interests that demand new or additional spending. Rather than reducing rates and reforming the tax code, it is often easier to approach […]

 
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