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GETTING POLITICIANS OUT OF YOUR POCKET AND OFF YOUR BACK


Empty Iowa arenas, convention centers, mean 'taxpayer is always on the hook'

The individual taxpayer is always on the hook when the ambitions of local governments fail to meet expectations.

As arenas, convention centers, and even some hotels funded by state and local governments stand mostly empty due to the pandemic, and with revenue all but nonexistent, the burden to make the debt payments may shift straight to taxpayers.

“The individual taxpayer is always on the hook when the ambitions of local governments fail to meet expectations,” Chris Hagenow, vice president of Iowans for Tax Relief, told The Center Square.

“The financial impact of the pandemic, or any other unforeseen event, should be a reminder of the value of fiscal discipline, even when everything is going well,” Hagenow said.

READ MORE from The Center Square article

Des Moines Says COVID Will
Cost City $25 Million in Revenue

In the never-ending game of picking winners and losers, they certainly have given away a lot of tax dollars that might have come in handy right now.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Des Moines this fiscal year is estimated to lose $25 million dollars in revenue. In releasing loss estimates today, City Manager Scott Sanders said the coronavirus outbreak has severely affected city revenues which will continue into the next fiscal year.

“At the end of this summer Des Moines officials noted that the local option sales tax that was recently passed had generated $38 million in new revenue so from that perspective, they are still ahead with that new tax,” Chris Ingstad, president of Iowans for Tax Relief, told The Iowa Torch.

He pointed out that Des Moines’ use of tax increment financing (TIF), a public financing method that provides tax rebates to developers has not helped the city budget.

“In the never-ending game of picking winners and losers they certainly have given away a lot of tax dollars that might have come in handy right now,” Ingstad said.

READ MORE from The Iowa Torch article

Small business owners
should be ‘Person of the Year’

Most business owners don’t want a check from the government, they just want a chance to stay in the fight.
Small business owners in 2020 have endured a year like never before. Just like everyone else, but perhaps on an even grander scale.

Chris Ingstad, president of Iowans for Tax Relief, highlighted some efforts by the government to soften the blow small business owners have experienced.

He pointed to help recently provided to movie theaters as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds still looks for ways to use the dollars from Washington D.C.

While searching for a solution, Ingstad encouraged governments to do no harm.

“Don’t find some new revenue source to keep the state and local governments full – don’t turn to those folks – the last thing they need is a bigger tax bill,” Ingstad said.

A reduction in regulations or loosening of regulations could also help. Ingstad pointed to simple things, like allowing bars and restaurants to provide curbside service and selling alcoholic beverages to go.

“Things like that that can let businesses do business,” he said. “Most business owners don’t want a check from the government, they just want a chance to stay in the fight. Any way that you can allow them to innovate and be creative and go forth is a good thing.”

READ MORE from The Iowa Standard article

Iowa and Nebraska Should Trade Playbooks

Recent licensing reform can be valuable as more Americans with family members in licensed occupations consider relocation as part of the remote workforce.
The leaders of two Midwestern policy organizations sent a letter to the governors and state legislators of Iowa and Nebraska proposing both states improve their economic response to the COVID-19 recession by adopting each other’s recent professional licensing reform legislation.

Platte Institute Chief Executive Officer Jim Vokal and Iowans for Tax Relief President Chris Ingstad praised recent licensing reform policies passed in each state.

Nebraska and Iowa currently rank among the states with the lowest unemployment rates in the country, a familiar position from the days before the COVID-19 crisis. But with Americans still waiting for vaccines for the disease to become widely distributed, not as many workers are returning to the region’s already tight labor market as before the pandemic.

“We encourage you to plan now to help bring more people and more jobs to both of our states; to reduce barriers to employment; to increase transparency and accountability. There is no better time than now to enact these policies which will contribute to our post-COVID economic recovery,” Vokal and Ingstad wrote.

READ MORE

Links of Interest

Biden OMB pick wants national soda tax of 55 to 67 cents per two-liter bottle
- Americans for Tax Reform
Iowa schools see net expenditure reduction of $43 million during pandemic.
- QC Times
As More Americans Move To No-Income-Tax States, More Lawmakers Move To Phase Out State Income Taxes
- Forbes
Is Eliminating Iowa’s Income Tax the Answer?
- TEF Iowa
Residents of Dallas County pay highest average property taxes in Iowa
- The Center Square
Wireless tax burden remains high due to federal surcharge increase
- Tax Foundation
Des Moines office workers flushed $2.2 million out of the municipal budget because they are working at home and not using toilets in the city.
- Iowa Capital Dispatch

Recent ITR Watchdog Email Updates

  • Is tax relief guaranteed?
  • Chris Hagenow joins ITR's staff
  • Spending restraint
  • 2020 ITR Legacy Award recipients
  • Cut the rates!
  • Lather, rinse, repeat; More reform needed
  • Iowa taxpayers shouldn't subsidize other state's irresponsible spending
  • DM wants to increase the tax base by shifting the property tax burden
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The government keeps taking more of your money and time. 

ITR works for lower taxes, less spending, and fewer regulations
so politicians get out of your pocket and off your back.

 
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