One year ago, Iowa's economy was entering a period of uncertainty. Now, as we can look back, the worst is over, and it is clear some states handled the crisis better than others.
Due in large part to Governor Kim Reynolds' leadership to keep Iowa working through the pandemic, Iowa has emerged from this crisis in a strong position. Because of the resiliency of our economy, there is now a great opportunity to lock-in and guarantee the tax cuts promised in 2018.
As the legislative session progresses, conversations on tax and spending matters come into focus. Recent news articles show COVID's economic effects are fading, people are getting back to work, and Iowans should be optimistic. Take a look:
Iowa is Better Positioned Than Other States
"So I would tell you, we do not have a recession. Overall, our economy did very, very well. That wasn’t the case everywhere, and I will tell you that our phone is ringing from prospects that want to bring manufacturing projects to Iowa from places like Minnesota, from Illinois." - Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority Director
Iowa's Low Unemployment
"The fact that so many people found jobs during this time is evidence that our economy remains strong and our recovery from the pandemic is on the right track. There are over 64,000 jobs posted at IowaWORKS.gov, and I encourage everyone who can, to rejoin the workforce and take advantage of the great opportunities available in Iowa right now." - Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development Director
Positive Agricultural Outlook
"The 2020 corn crop will sell for an average of $4.85 a bushel and soybeans for $11.15 a bushel. The USDA forecasts strong economic growth, low-interest rates, and low inflation rates this year, a combination that would boost demand for food and ag products, and drive up commodity prices." - Successful Farming
"John Deere started 2021 on a strongly positive note. Our results were aided by outstanding performance across our business lineup and improving conditions in the farm and construction sectors." - John May, John Deere CEO
Home Sales are Strong
"Home sales in the Greater Des Moines area continued to be strong in January, with the sale of 920 residential properties, 20% more than a year ago, new data from the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors shows." - Business Record
Governor Reynolds' leadership through COVID has helped create a solid foundation for the state's budget. Now, it's time to seize this opportunity and give tax relief to Iowans.
The 2018 income tax reform bill was an excellent first step. However, much of the tax relief is dependent on revenue triggers that must be met before Iowans get lower tax rates.
If legislators don't remove the triggers and lock-in rate cuts this year, they are telling taxpayers that increasing government spending is more important than letting Iowans keep more of their hard-earned money.
Transparency is for government. Privacy is for individuals, and Iowans need donor privacy protection.
People who make charitable donations deserve to be able to do so privately. Some don't want to be bombarded with requests for donations. Others may wish to donate to a cause that is not politically popular, and they deserve to do so without fear of harm to themselves or their families.
ITR has lobbied on this issue for three years. This week, HF 309, a bill that would increase donor privacy, passed the Iowa House with a vote of 84-9. It now moves to the Senate, where it has been assigned to a subcommittee.
The first legislative funnel is next week. Unless a bill has been assigned to the Appropriations, Ways and Means, or Government Oversight committees, the bill must pass out of a committee by March 5th to stay alive this year.