Ernst & Young biz tax rankingsBreaking trust
with the trust

Governor Reynolds’ tax plan
breaks free of voters’ intent

Iowa voters should be getting more than Governor Kim Reynolds is proposing for purposes they expected in approving a constitutional amendment in 2010 to improve outdoor recreation and water quality.

Full report (4-pg) Feb. 14, 2020
News release (2-pg)

How to keep clean water and revenue equity together as priorities
Full report
News Release

What real Iowa tax reform would look like
Hint: It doesn't mean cutting taxes for the wealthy
while jacking them up on the poor

Iowa is an average-tax state. Even before expensive tax cuts passed in 2018 to benefit the wealthiest, Iowans paid about 2.5 percent of their income toward income taxes, 2.4 percent for sales taxes, which earns us a rank of 20th and 21st, respectively, among the 50 states. Business taxes in Iowa are actually below average according to recent studies by two accounting firms: one placed Iowa 31st, the other 36th.
Roadmap for Opportunity 2-pagers
• What real Iowa tax reform would look like
• Promoting economic security for Iowa workers
• Extra requirements penalize low-wage working families
• Reining in the cost of business tax subsidies

More in IPP’s Roadmap for Opportunity

Iowans working Hard, falling short

Cost of Living in Iowa update shows how ‘cliffs’
in work supports send families over the edge

“Work support” policies help low-wage working families survive, keep their children out of poverty, and provide a stepping stone to a better education and a better job. This report shows how to strengthen pathways to the middle class — an important public policy issue when nearly 120,000 Iowa working households do not earn enough to provide for a basic standard of living. For single parents, the challenge is greater than for married parents, and for Iowans of color, the challenge is far greater than for white families.

Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class:
The Role of Work Supports
Jan. 8, 2020
Backgrounder, 2 pages
News release

The Cost of Living in Iowa 2019 Sept. 24, 2019
Backgrounder, 2 pages
News release

Aggravating inequality:
Tax cut act at age 2

Not much to celebrate for most Iowans
Two years ago this month, Congress passed and the President signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The bill showered huge tax breaks on corporations and wealthy individuals, while doing little for most working families. In Iowa, 84 percent of the tax cuts in the bill have gone to the top 40 percent of taxpayers, while the bottom 40 percent get just 7 percent.

Full report Dec. 16, 2019

Des Moines Register story

Flooding and inequity: Policy
responses on the front line

Disparate community impacts and recoveries
as flooding rises with climate change

Communities on the front line of natural disasters vary in their ability to protect themselves, and to recover. As public policy has contributed to these destructive trends, policy makers in an era of climate change and greater problems must examine how to better focus on equity in policy responses.

Full report Dec. 12, 2019
Executive summary
News release

Choose better measures to look
at how states’ taxes compare

Once again, Tax Foundation rankings
bear little resemblence to taxes paid

Businesses pay less tax in Iowa than 4 out of 5 states. So why does the Tax Foundation keep portraying the state in a bad light? IPP’s Peter Fisher puts a spotlight on problems with the Tax Foundation's annual rankings of a so-called "business climate."

See Grading the States Oct. 25, 2019

Race in the Heartland
Equity, opportunity, policy challenges
in Iowa and Midwestern states

A half-century removed from the high-tide of the civil rights movement, progress on racial equity has slowed or stalled on many fronts. Nowhere is this more starkly evident than in the 12 states of the Midwest region, where racial disparities in economic opportunity and economic outcomes are wider than they are in other regions, and policy interventions designed to close those gaps are meager.

Full report by Colin Gordon Oct. 10, 2019
News release or PDF

An uncertain future for Iowa:
The outlook for communities and flooding
in context with our changing climate

Scenes of flooding devastation replayed across Iowa this past spring: levee breaches, impassable roads, devastated fields. Our new report puts trends about precipitation and temperature in the context of climate science. It seeks to answer:
• In the face of our changing climate, will Iowa flooding worsen as the world grows warmer?
• What is the outlook for the next 10-30 years if only limited action is taken?

Full report or PDF, 24 pages NEW!
Executive summary (or PDF, 3 pages)
News release (PDF, 2 pages)

And on our blog, IPP’s David Osterberg — who teaches about climate change — discusses what he learned during this project with Professor James Boulter of the University of Wiscconsin - Eau Claire. See “Science change and climate change.”

No more for schools? Plenty for tax breaks

Research Credit cost $70 million in 2018 — much in checks
Iowa’s lucrative research subsidy cost Iowa taxpayers $70 million in 2018 — some as a credit against taxes owed, but most to companies that received $41.8 million in checks from the state without paying any Iowa corporate income tax.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership news release
Iowa Fiscal Partnership Tax Policy Kit backgrounder with nine-year comparisons
Large RAC beneficiaries list, 2010-18