Friday, April 3, 2020

How exposed is Iowa's economy?

States are taking a big economic hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a Cedar Rapids Gazette article, Jeff Robinson, a senior tax analyst at Iowa's Legislative Services Agency, indicated we might have to wait until all taxes have been collected and refunds paid to know the real impact on government budgets.

However, a recent analysis by WalletHub shows Iowa's economic situation might be able to withstand this downturn better than other states.

Their study compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across highly impacted industries and workforce along with the resources for businesses to cope with the crisis. Overall, Iowa is ranked as the 38th most exposed (14th best) to the pandemic's economic consequences. 
The top five most exposed states are Louisiana, Rhode Island, Nevada, Maine, and New Hampshire. Georgia is the least exposed state followed by California, Alaska, Oregon, and Utah.

Iowa's high impact industries and workforce are ranked as the 6th most prepared at number 46. The state's resources to help businesses came in a little below average at number 20.

Two areas where Iowa is the strongest are the amount of employment and GDP generated from highly impacted industries. 
The analysis also took into consideration each state's: 
  • Rainy day funds
  • Fiscal condition
  • Work from home infrastructure
  • Preparation for a digital economy
  • Increase in 12th-week unemployment claims (2020 vs. 2019)
  • Share of employment from small business
Read more about how Iowa ranks on the WalletHub website

Protect Your Money from Scams

While ITR works hard to protect your money at the Iowa State Capitol, only you can protect your money from fraudulent scams. Unfortunately, many scammers try to take advantage of people during trying or uncertain times like we’re experiencing today.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, scam complaints related to the coronavirus have doubled in the last week.

Scammers use many means of communication, from telephone or text message to email or malicious links on the internet. They often pretend to be an official from the government requesting more information to help with the receipt of government assistance or coronavirus testing. The average cost to an individual who falls for one of these scams is $600.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst has called for a bipartisan federal response to these scams, which are primarily targeting senior citizens and vulnerable populations. She would like to see more information available to the public about the types of scams that are being engaged in and how to report a scam if you see something concerning or fall victim to one of these fraudulent schemes.

You can find more information about reporting scams and fraud on the website. If you encounter what appears to be fraudulent activity, please report it to the appropriate authorities so that you can help prevent others from falling victim.

Even Logos are Distancing

The coronavirus pandemic is not a joke, but humor is a great way to cope with difficult times. Many well-known brands have altered their logos to promote social distancing.
Another way to deal with the crisis is through kindness and generosity. This is where Iowans are at their best. We have posted some of these stories on our website and invite you to tell us about the individuals and organizations you see making a difference.

Issue Updates

The Iowa Capitol is closed to the public, and the legislative session has been suspended through April 30.

At this time, it is impossible to know the coronavirus impact and determine priorities for lawmakers when they come back to the Capitol. You can see the progress of legislation through March 16 by visiting the Legislative Update page on our website.
It’s easy for politicians to yield to noisy special interest groups when the taxpayer keeps quietly paying the bills.
Copyright © 2020 Iowans for Tax Relief, All rights reserved.

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