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Friday, January 10, 2020

A 2020 Vision for Iowa

Having 20/20 vision indicates a person’s vision is clear and sharp.

Governments rarely operate with this type of clarity. That is why we are working on a prescription to help the state government’s vision. In other words, Iowans deserve to keep more of their hard-earned money and have the freedom to make decisions without unnecessary barriers.   

The 2020 legislative session starts Monday. This year, policymakers have the opportunity to speed up scheduled tax cuts, make it easier to enter new careers, guarantee support is given to those who are genuinely in need, and increase the accountability of local governments. 

Take a look at the issues below, or read ITR's 2020 Legislative Issue Guide on our website.

Be sure to click on the links to learn more and take action. When you make your voice heard it’s harder for bureaucrats to get away with increasing spending and creating economic burdens.

Income Tax Reform

The top individual income tax rate of 8.53% will be reduced to 6.5% in 2023 if:

  1. State revenue grows to over $8.3 billion (FY 2020 budget is $7.643 billion)
  2. State revenue increases at least four percent that fiscal year

If those two items don’t happen, rates will remain high until those targets are met.

Triggers are a reasonable protection, but continuing to subject Iowans to high tax rates while praising tax cuts that may never happen is disingenuous at best. It is imperative that legislators evaluate the triggers passed into law to determine if the long timeline and extremely high threshold for enacting the larger tax cuts still make sense. Rhetoric praising tax cuts means nothing if those cuts never happen.

Read More and Email Your Legislators

Cut the Red Tape Tax

Excessive and burdensome occupational licensing laws serve as a hidden red tape tax that disproportionately impact Iowa’s working class. These laws make it more difficult and more expensive for Iowans to earn a living and fill high-demand jobs.

Occupational licenses protecting the health and wellbeing of citizens make sense and are practical, but excessive licensing requirements can create a barrier for Iowa’s most vulnerable.

As a state with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, it is time Iowa makes entering the job market easier for both current and new residents.

Lawmakers can increase economic opportunities for Iowans with:

  • Job License Reviews
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Universal Recognition
  • Fee waivers for low-income workers

Read More and Email Your Legislators

Stop Medicaid Recipient Fraud

Every dollar lost to waste, fraud, or abuse is a dollar that cannot go to fund services for those with genuine and urgent needs.

Nearly one in five Iowans receive Medicaid benefits. While the federal government picks up most of the tab, Medicaid is still the second-largest appropriation within Iowa’s General Fund, totaling $1.4 billion. Iowa taxpayers deserve to know that their hard-earned dollars are being spent appropriately.

A commonsense solution to halt Medicaid abuse should start with regular eligibility reviews of Medicaid recipients. These reviews should include:

  • Earned and unearned income
  • Residency status
  • Death records
  • Lottery winnings
  • Other status changes that would otherwise make a recipient ineligible for assistance

Allowing Medicaid fraud and abuse doesn’t just fleece the taxpayer, but it is unfair to those Iowans who need the services Medicaid provides.

Read More and Email Your Legislators

Taxpayer-Funded Lobbyist Transparency

Did you know your property tax dollars are used to lobby legislators?

Contract lobbyists are hired by:

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • School Districts
  • Taxpayer-Funded Associations

Lobbyists contracted by local governments are not subject to open records laws. Sometimes, the positions taken by taxpayer-funded lobbyists are not in the best interest of the taxpayers.

Contract lobbyists paid with taxpayer dollars and associations of local government hiring lobbyists should be subject to the same open records laws as public employees.

Read More and Email Your Legislators

Additional Issues

What Do You Say?

As the voice of the taxpayer, we want to know what you think about the issues mentioned above and others that might be addressed at the Capitol this year. 

If you haven't already, please take a few minutes to complete this short, 10-question survey.

ITR's 2019 Year In Review

In 2019, ITR drove policy conversations, expanded our network, and experienced legislative success. We sat down with other organizations and statewide leaders to identify problems Iowans faced and the policy solutions to solve those problems.

Governor Kim Reynolds spoke at our Tax Day Luncheon in March and said, "When ITR is at the Capitol, they are not working for just one business or industry. They represent ALL Iowa taxpayers."

Read more about ITR's 2019 Year in Review

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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