The Iowa Legislature Continues Conservative Spending

Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature continued to follow fiscal conservatism. The legislature passed an $8.1 billion FY 2022 state budget. This budget is $290.7 million more than the FY 2021 budget. The $8.1 billion budget is over $4 million more than what Governor Reynolds originally proposed. Nevertheless, even as spending has slightly increased from the previous fiscal year, […]

Reject the “Blue” State Model

A recent editorial by the Des Moines Register asks whether the push for “smaller” government in Iowa has achieved a point where it is “too small to work.” The editorial argues that those who believe in a “smaller, more efficient” government fail to address how limited government can solve some of the policy problems confronting Iowa. In other words, the […]

Fiscal Conservatism Works

Following a path of fiscal conservatism is never easy. Numerous interests are calling for either new or an expansion of existing taxpayer funding for programs. Policymakers are confronted with difficult decisions in crafting a budget and providing for the priorities of government, but at the same time trying to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. The pressure for policymakers to […]

Governor Kim Reynolds Champions Pro-Growth Tax Policies

Governor Kim Reynolds has made growing Iowa’s economy a priority. To accomplish this goal, she is working to ensure that Iowa has a competitive tax climate. As a result of following fiscal conservatism of prudent spending and lowering tax rates, Iowa was able to weather the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Iowa’s fiscal house is in order with full […]

Spending, Debt, and Tax Increases Threaten Economy

In a recent interview with Tax Education Foundation of Iowa, Dr. Ernie Goss, Professor of Economics at Creighton University, discussed current issues and economic trends for both Iowa and the nation. Goss noted that Iowa’s economy “is still about three or four percent below pre-pandemic levels” but is on the road to recovery.  Although both Iowa’s and the national economy […]

Truth In Taxation Laws Are Gold Standard of Property Tax Reform

The burden of high property taxes is a source of growing frustration and legitimate concern for taxpayers across the nation. Because property tax systems vary greatly across the states, finding a solution to out-of-control property tax burdens is often difficult for policymakers. Interestingly, states across the country are taking a page from Utah’s book, where a state law has kept […]

Uncle Sam is Broke

Out-of-control government spending is a dangerous problem that both political parties are failing to address. The United States’ national debt is $28 trillion and rising and the federal government continues to run massive deficits. The COVID-19 pandemic has only escalated government spending. The national debt represents a significant crisis for the nation. A recent review of the federal government’s finances by Truth in Accounting […]

Iowa Needs a Property Tax Solution

  Property taxpayers in Iowa are frustrated. Taxpayers often blame assessors for high property tax bills, but it is government spending that results in high property taxes. Property taxes are also a form of wealth tax.   For example, if the value of a home increased by 10 percent, it does not mean the property owner has a 10 percent […]

Beware of Tax Rate Complacency

Toyota Financial Services recently announced that as a result of consolidating customer service centers, the Cedar Rapids facility will close and cut 600 jobs, due in part to the private sector employing 5% fewer people than a year ago. The consolidation of customer service centers is a loss for Iowa and a win for other states, such as Texas. Businesses […]

Gov. Reynolds Should Reject Federal COVID Relief Money

President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are celebrating the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), which is a $1.9 trillion package aimed at providing COVID-19 relief. The $1.9 trillion “stimulus” is in addition to $4 trillion in previous spending directed towards pandemic relief. The American Rescue Plan will not only add to the escalating $28 trillion […]

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

The late intellectual historian Stephen J. Tonsor wrote that in America, “the Founding is determinative, and the Constitution stands at the very center of American political conservatism.” As Tonsor wrote: Central to conservative doctrine, and the translation of this doctrine into the politics of a particular time and place, is the fear of unchecked power and its centralization…It is for […]

Iowa Needs Job Licensing & Board Reviews

During the last legislative session, the legislature passed, and Governor Kim Reynolds signed a historic occupational licensing reform measure.  The law allows for universal recognition of out-of-state licenses, waives licensing fees for low-income individuals, and establishes a standard for a fairer review process if a license is denied based on past criminal convictions. Policymakers have an opportunity to build upon […]

Conservative Iowa Budget

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature have mainly been following fiscal conservative principles of limiting spending and reducing tax rates. Gov. Reynolds even received an “A” grade from Cato Institute’s 2020 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors for her fiscal conservatism. As a result of conservative budgeting practices, Iowa’s fiscal house was not only prepared for the economic emergency caused […]

Benefits of Competition in Education

During her Condition of the State address, Governor Kim Reynolds outlined a comprehensive school choice reform plan. One aspect of this calls for expanding charter schools in Iowa. Charter schools are public schools that are run independently but are still held accountable to state and federal standards. These schools are currently limited in Iowa but can provide a more flexible […]

How to Stop Corporate Subsidies on the Taxpayers’ Dime?

Des Moines is rightly excited about plans to build multiple new sports facilities. But Iowa taxpayers ought to be concerned about the city’s request for $57 million in state subsidies to underwrite real estate developers’ profits. Cronyism of this sort has been a consistent problem across America, but there’s hope on the horizon. States have been locked in a perpetual […]

Time to Eliminate Barriers to Tax Relief

Tax rates matter, and they play a significant role in how competitive a state economy is in relation to other states. Higher tax rates penalize hard-working individuals, families, and businesses and deter economic growth, making a state less competitive. To make Iowa more economically competitive, Governor Kim Reynolds has made tax reform a priority. Taxes on income, which include both […]

Can Uncle Sam Afford a $1.9 Trillion Stimulus?

President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are pushing for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Congress has already approved $4 trillion in pandemic relief and stimulus measures and billions of that money has yet to be spent. Congress is also considering a $6.1 trillion budget and the $28 trillion national debt continues to escalate. Federal policymakers should avoid another […]

A Needed Reform for Iowa’s Property Taxpayers

Iowa’s high property taxes are a growing concern. The Tax Foundation examined the “effective tax rates on owner-occupied housing” across the United States. Iowa ranked 12th highest in the nation. At the heart of high property taxes is local government spending. Unless spending is controlled, any property tax relief will be limited. Iowa’s property tax system is complex, and more transparency is needed. […]

Should Kansas’ Experience with Tax Reform Stop Reform in Iowa?

Reforming a state tax code in order to provide relief, economic growth, and create a more competitive economic climate is straightforward in terms of economics, but difficult in the world of politics. A major reason for this difficulty is tax rate reductions are in direct conflict with numerous policy interests that demand new or additional spending. Iowa, alongside the vast […]

Coolidge Serves as a Guide for National Policy

In the 20th century, President Calvin Coolidge represents the best example of American conservatism. Whether in his political philosophy or temperament, Calvin Coolidge can serve as a guide for today’s conservatives. Conservatives during the 1920s placed the American Founding and the Constitution as their philosophical center as a “veritable cult of Constitution worship flourished.” As President, Coolidge was a champion […]

All Kids Deserve Educational Opportunities

From my experience traveling across Iowa and visiting with parents and teachers, I am convinced that having more choice in education is vital. Real-life stories of change from parents and private school leaders illustrate the importance of choice in education.  A small private school principal in eastern Iowa shared, “We’ve increased our numbers this past year because of COVID-19. Parents […]

Property Taxes are Wealth Taxes

For many Iowans property taxes represent a significant financial burden. A recent independent poll commissioned by TEF Iowa found that close to 50 percent of Iowans surveyed support making property tax relief a priority. Did you know property taxes are a form of wealth tax?  It’s true! For example, if the value of a home increased by 10 percent, it […]

Tax Reform’s Potential to Boost Iowa’s Economy

In 2018, Governor Kim Reynolds and the legislature passed pro-growth tax reform that lowered income tax rates and broadened the sales tax base. Reducing tax rates, along with practicing fiscally responsible spending policies, is making Iowa more competitive and economically strong. However, the annual report, Rich States, Poor States, describes how states across America continue to advance policies that help […]

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 […]