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 […]

The Need for Tax Fairness

Sales taxes, or taxes on consumption, are considered the least harmful in comparison to income and corporate taxes. This does not mean a state should have a high sales tax, because this too would be harmful for economic growth. States should work to establish a tax code that has low rates combined with simplicity and transparency. This would in turn […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

This Wine Tax Will Not Age Well

Sour grapes! Iowa has the fourth highest tax on wine in the nation.   When considering wine, Iowa may not necessarily be the first region connoisseurs think about. However, Iowa’s wine industry does have an economic impact in our state. Iowans and tourists often visit one of nearly 100 wineries and the state government taxes wine at $1.75 per gallon, […]

Will Polk County Property Tax Relief be Wiped Out?

Property tax bills might increase from valuation growth more than the promised reduction from increasing the sales tax.   Many property owners in Polk County received a shock recently as they opened their new property tax assessments. Assessments in Polk County increased from 7.1 percent in Johnston to 11.6 percent in Des Moines. Numerous property owners saw a 10 percent […]

Iowa’s Tax Burden

How does Iowa compare with the other 49 states and Washington, D.C.? The individual income tax rate, corporate income tax rate, sales tax rate all as of January 1, 2019, and property taxes paid as a percentage of owner-occupied housing value for CY 2016 are ranked from 1 to 51 with 1 being the lowest and 51 the highest. Individual […]

Government’s Unquenchable Appetite for Tax Dollars

As Iowa’s tight budget situation lingers, the call for additional revenue sources continues to grow. The Des Moines Register recently published an editorial advocating a tax increase on beer to fund various programs and law enforcement efforts to deal with alcohol-related issues. The editorial board argued that a higher beer tax would discourage drinking and reduce the harmful effects of alcohol abuse. Iowa currently […]

Crush the Soda Tax

The Des Moines Register recently suggested that Iowa should consider imposing a new tax on soda and other sugary drinks. It is assumed that this tax may be able to help solve two problems. The first is to generate more revenue for state government, and the second is to fight obesity. Any potential debate over a soda tax should serve […]