2020 Candidate Education Guide

2020 Candidate Education Guide

Recently TEF Iowa polled Iowans to get their view on some key public policy issues. In this guide you will find not only how Iowans think about these issues, but also public policy solutions that align with the interest of Iowans. TEF Iowa has developed this guide as a resource …

Iowa’s High Property Taxes

Iowa’s High Property Taxes

Iowans are demanding property tax relief. High property taxes continue to be a problem for Iowa. The Tax Foundation recently examined the “effective tax rates on owner-occupied housing” across the United States. Iowa ranked 12th highest in the nation. Source: Tax Foundation     Iowa relies heavily on property tax …

Taxpayer Protection Starts with Limiting Spending

Taxpayer Protection Starts with Limiting Spending

Governor Kim Reynolds and the legislature have been working to control spending in Iowa. Prior to the COVID-19 emergency, Iowa was in a strong economic position with healthy and stable revenue growth. This included $800 million in reserves and a $400 million surplus. By March, all of this changed as …

Tax Rates Are the Key to Economic Competitiveness

Tax Rates Are the Key to Economic Competitiveness

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released the 13th edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. Rich States, Poor States, measures the competitiveness of each state in terms of economic outlook and performance. In the latest rankings, Iowa has moved from 29th to 25th in terms …

Spending Restraint: A Conservative Budget

Spending Restraint: A Conservative Budget

Crafting a state budget is never an easy process and this year was especially difficult with drafting a budget amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 emergency, Iowa was in a strong economic position with healthy and stable revenue growth. By March, all of this changed as the pandemic …

Uncle Sam’s “Free” Handouts

Uncle Sam’s “Free” Handouts

Iowa, just as with other states, has become dependent on the federal government for support. Iowa’s $7.6 billion state budget is dependent on the equivalent in federal aid to help fund numerous programs. Through these funds, the federal government can impose both funded and unfunded mandates on the states.  This …

Iowa Revenue Source

Iowa Revenue Source

Do you know that the income taxes you pay to the state of Iowa makes up the majority of the General Fund budget? Iowa’s General Fund is supported not just by income taxes, but also sales and a variety of other taxes, fees, and revenue sources. In addition, the budget …

Methods to Economic Recovery

Methods to Economic Recovery

Iowa’s economy is in a recession marked by high unemployment, not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Iowa’s economic crisis is a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which has  forced an economic shutdown of the state. Low commodity prices are also having a detrimental impact on the farming …

Uncle Sam to the Rescue?

Uncle Sam to the Rescue?

David Kennedy, prominent historian and Stanford University professor, in an interview with Governing discussed the COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency in relation to the Great Depression. In that interview he stated, “[President] Calvin Coolidge said that if the federal government went out of business, the average person wouldn’t notice for six months, except for the post office. Now, the federal government is …

Steps to an Economic Recovery

Steps to an Economic Recovery

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is frightening enough, but the economic consequences of the virus makes the situation even more terrifying. As a result of COVID-19, thousands of Iowans are filing for unemployment and businesses across the state are trying to fend off bankruptcy. The current “cure” or deterrent to stopping the …

Prepare for Impact

Prepare for Impact

The threat of a national economic recession hangs over the United States as a result of the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. While much attention has been paid to what lawmakers in Washington D.C. have done, states and localities are also bracing for an economic recession. A …

COVID-19’s Economic Impact Uncertain

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, …

The Forgotten Word in Politics: Restraint

The Forgotten Word in Politics: Restraint

It has been almost 100 years since government has shown spending restraint. What can be done to slow down our $22,000,000,000,000 national debt?   The $22 trillion national debt symbolizes not only the broken budget process of today’s federal government, but decades of overspending by both Republicans and Democrats. MarketWatch …

Out-of-Control Spending Highlights Need for Fiscal Sanity

Out-of-Control Spending Highlights Need for Fiscal Sanity

Lobster tail, crab, booze, and a foosball table were purchased in the Federal Government’s use-it-or-lose-it spending spree. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) won election to the United States Senate for promising to make the federal government “squeal.” The reference is in response to the out-of-control spending that has plagued the federal …

Does Your State Have Medicaid Fraud and Payment Errors?

Does Your State Have Medicaid Fraud and Payment Errors?

Taxpayer dollars lost to waste, fraud, or abuse are dollars that cannot fund services for those who truly need the services.   Beth Wood, who serves as North Carolina State Auditor, reported the “state Department of Health and Human Services improperly paid more than $100 million in Medicaid claims during fiscal year …

Federal Funds for Teachers Should Get A Failing Grade

Federal Funds for Teachers Should Get A Failing Grade

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) wants Uncle Sam to spend $315 billion on teacher salaries. This is dangerous for states, school districts, and is not the role of the federal government.   Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is also a current Democrat presidential candidate, recently proposed a new federal program that …