Taxing Times in Washington: What Every State Legislator Needs to Know

By Jonathan Williams and Lee Schalk | ALEC In our Nation’s Capital, there are unprecedented attempts are underway to remake America, with countless dangerous policy ideas being discussed. Unfortunately, many have not learned from the mistakes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), where infamously, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told members of Congress they have to pass the bill to know what’s […]

What’s Next for Tax Reform in Iowa

“Today’s legislation ushers in a new era of growth and opportunity in Iowa,” said Governor Kim Reynolds when signing the 2021 tax reform bill passed by the legislature. “But we are not done yet. Next year, I’ll be proposing additional income tax cuts as we continue to make Iowa the most attractive place in America to open a business, raise […]

Tax Reform Far from Complete in Iowa

This year Iowa’s top corporate tax rate decreased from 12 percent, the highest in the nation, to 9.8 percent. Even at 9.8 percent, Iowa’s corporate tax rate is high. Many states have or are in the process of gradually lowering their corporate income tax rates. Nebraska recently passed legislation to reduce their corporate tax from 7.81 percent to 6.84 percent. […]

Tax Relief Advances in Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds is growing Iowa’s economy by making the tax code more competitive and ensuring that hardworking taxpayers get to keep more of their money. During her Condition of the State address, the Governor stated that not only do we “need to continue the conversation about cutting taxes,” but she also called for the repeal “of the unnecessary triggers […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pro-Growth Tax Reform Through Broadening Sales Tax

In 2018, Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa legislature passed a comprehensive tax reform measure that lowers both the individual and corporate income tax rates as well as broadens the sales tax base.   Although the 2018 reform was historic, Iowa will still have high income tax rates. Iowa’s top individual income tax rate will be 6.5 percent and the […]

Creating a Friendly Business Climate

The Tax Foundation ranks Iowa as one of the top ten worst states for business climate. Iowa’s high tax rates not only discourage economic growth, but they make our state less competitive. South Dakota has no state income tax and Iowa is losing ground to our neighbor because they have a more competitive tax climate. It will be difficult for […]

Is Eliminating Iowa’s Income Tax the Answer?

States without an income tax are garnering a lot of attention for their economic growth and ability to attract people who are making an exodus from high tax states. Tax climates are important because they determine the overall economic health of the state. For every dollar that is taken by government in taxes is one less dollar individuals or businesses […]

Should Iowa Eliminate the Income Tax?

Iowa relies heavily on income tax to fund state government. It is estimated, in Fiscal Year 2021, 57.3 percent of state revenues will be generated from income (individual and corporate) taxes, while 33.1 percent will originate from sales taxes.   (Source: Legislative Services Agency)     Since 1993, individual and corporate income taxes have a combined average of 64 percent […]

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 to provide legislative candidates additional information on some of the […]

How Much Does Government Cost in Iowa?

Can you think of any area of your life that is not directly impacted by government? Government, whether at the federal, state, or local level, has grown considerably overtime. The escalating $26 trillion national debt is the most symbolic description of the growth of government.  As more demands are placed on all levels of government, it creates a problem. As […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Iowa’s Golden Tax Reform Opportunity

As a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and elimination of numerous job killing regulations, the national economy is growing and states have benefited tremendously from this growth.  In 2018 the legislature passed the first major comprehensive tax reform legislation in a decade. Governor Kim Reynolds, in her Condition of the State Address,  called for further tax […]

High Corporate Tax Rates Slow Growth

Iowa has the highest corporate income tax rate in the country at 12 percent. That rate, combined with the federal corporate tax, totals 29.5 percent. As part of the 2018 comprehensive tax reform law, the legislature lowered the rate. In 2021, the top corporate tax rate will still have four brackets, but the top rate will fall from 12 percent […]

Iowa’s Income Tax Rates Are a Ball and Chain

With the federal government eliminating job-killing regulations and the implementation of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it has led to national economic growth. Many states are using this as an opportunity to lower income tax rates.   In 2018, Iowa passed legislation that lowered the top individual income tax rate to 8.53 percent effective 2019.  That rate is scheduled […]

Playing Games with the Tax Code

Iowa’s top 12 percent corporate income tax is the highest in the nation. In 2018 the Iowa legislature passed a comprehensive tax reform law and the top rate will be lowered to 9.8 percent in 2021. Even at 9.8 percent, Iowa will still have a high corporate income tax rate. When it comes to tax policy it appears to be […]

Stop the Free Handouts

Tax credits and incentives are often an enticing siren song that lures state and local policymakers. Both are seen as not only necessary for economic growth, but also to help solve a variety of policy problems. Whether at a state or local level, tax credits and incentives often fail to deliver on the intended economic growth. They often create a […]

2020: A Year for Progress

A Legislative Year for Smaller Government and Smarter Solutions   Iowa is in an exciting place as we start a new decade of the 21st century. Iowa’s economy is strong and our state budget has an estimated $470 million budget surplus. This does not mean that we do not have policy problems, but we can ensure that all Iowans will […]

Iowa’s Population Dilemma

During the first decade of the 21st century Iowa’s population grew by an estimated 3.6 percent. Population is a major concern for Iowa’s policymakers because of the need for workers. Iowa’s low unemployment rate is even surpassed by the vast amount of open jobs that need to be filled. Solving Iowa’s workforce dilemma is a bi-partisan priority of Iowa policymakers. […]