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Friday, February 7, 2020

Illegal Haircut for Super Bowl MVP?

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, flew his barber from Kansas to Miami for a haircut before the game. While Mahomes knew a fresh cut would help him look good, he probably didn’t realize it was illegal for his barber to cut his hair in the State of Florida, as our friends at Pelican Institute pointed out this week.  

Florida, like Iowa and most other states, doesn’t recognize out-of-state licenses for occupations like barbering. An occupational license is basically a permission slip from the government allowing people to work in a given profession. A fee usually has to be paid as well. 

Each state has different requirements. Here are how the states in the hair-cut scandal compare to each other and Iowa:
  • Kansas: 1,500 hours of training and $115 in fees
  • Florida: 1,200 hours of education and $428 in fees
  • Iowa: 2,100 hours of education and $135 in fees
Thankfully, no one deprived Mahomes of his haircut by foolishly enforcing this licensing requirement on his barber; however, others have not been so lucky.

A licensed school teacher from California shared her story of moving to Iowa. She had to pay for a conditional license so she could work as she took additional classes, at her expense, to qualify for an Iowa teaching certification. New residents in many professions have a similar experience.

Occupational licenses protecting the health and wellbeing of citizens make sense, but unnecessary and burdensome regulations can keep many people from entering or changing jobs. 

Before the legislative session began, ITR researched how states like Arizona, Ohio, and Nebraska have increased opportunities for current and new residents with:
  • Universal Recognition (this would help Mahomes's barber)
  • Job License Reviews
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Fee waivers for low-income workers
Legislators are listening. So far this year, three bills addressing this issue have been introduced. Stay updated on these bills by visiting our Issue Status webpage. 
Have you or someone you know had to jump through ridiculous hoops to earn a paycheck? Use the link above to share your story and help make a difference at the Capitol.

Cutting Iowa's High Taxes

The TEF Iowa cartoon above perfectly illustrates the status of income tax reform. Iowa's high income tax rates are scheduled to be reduced in 2023 if state revenue grows to a certain level and is at least four percent above the prior fiscal year. What if revenue growth is less than four percent? Iowa keeps taxing you with high rates. 

What is being done to speed up cuts?

The Governor released a comprehensive tax plan last month, and a bill was introduced this week:

It is encouraging House and Senate Republican leaders have commented that they want to help taxpayers keep more money. We will keep you updated.

Your Voice Can Make a Difference

Elected officials place more value on the opinions of those who can vote for them in the next election than any lobbyist at the Capitol, especially when you share how bad policy impacts your daily life. 

This is why ITR to make it as easy as possible to find and contact the Governor and your legislators.  Just click the button below:
Take a look at our website to find phone numbers and tips for visiting the Capitol for a face-to-face conversation with legislators. 

Our taxpayer action center also makes it easy to call or email all your federal and state elected officials. 
At the Capitol, ITR is tracking the status and working for legislation that would help you keep more money in your bank account. There were many new bills introduced this week. Take a look at our Issue Status page to stay updated. 

Property Taxes and Education Funding

When looking at your property tax statement, the largest consumer of your dollars is the school district. Instead of just complaining to school board members, we need to learn how to ask the right questions.

Our friends at Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa (TACI) are hosting an event on February 19th to provide some insight into these questions. 

Hope to see you there!
Learn More and Register

It’s easy for politicians to yield to noisy special interest groups when the taxpayer keeps quietly paying the bills.
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