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 […]

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. […]

A Better Path Forward For Iowa Tax Reform

Iowans Deserve a Better Tax System Now Last year, Iowa’s robust tax reform took a giant step toward reducing burdensome taxes on families and businesses. Unfortunately, many Iowans may never see the benefits of that overhaul because the new law hamstrings its best features, tying them to future revenue benchmarks or “tax triggers” that Iowa may never reach. Those arbitrary […]

Releasing Iowa’s Economic Albatross

All indications, except for the precarious feel of the China trade war, seem to show that Iowa’s economy is doing well.  While we may be enjoying a temporary surge due to President Donald Trump’s economic policies, we must make decisions that grow and sustain our state for the long haul. Iowa competes with other states, both for jobs and people, […]

Iowa needs some (tax) climate change!

Iowa has one of the worst business tax climates in the country. The state cannot afford to wait for more tax relief.   In 2018, the Iowa legislature gave taxpayers the first significant income tax relief legislation in 20 years. However, the relief will be phased in over multiple years, and the income tax rate reduction is subject to a […]

Our Taxes Aren’t “Iowa Nice”

A businessman in Sioux City recently stated it very plainly to us:  “We have stores in seven states.  Iowa is more expensive for property taxes than any other.”   Iowans are, for the most part, hardworking, friendly, and willing to help a stranger in need. Many call this “Iowa nice.”  However, our state’s tax code has been ranked as one […]

Where’s Everyone Going?

In just one year, over 9,000 Iowans moved to Florida, Texas, and South Dakota ­– all states that do not have an income tax.   Since 1980, the nation’s population has grown by more than 40 percent, and Iowa’s population has only grown 7 percent. Tax rates have a direct impact on the population. States with lower tax rates have […]