capitolTax inequity:
Iowa’s continuing story

Lawmakers stack tax system against middle-
and low-income Iowans — even with new law

Iowa taxes its middle- and low-income families more as a share of income than it does wealthy families, a long-term trend worsened by the 2018 tax overhaul.
Full report from ITEP 10/17/18
Iowa fact sheet
IFP news release

higher ed graphWant to chart a high road to opportunity?
Here are must-see stops along the way

An IPP tool for Iowa's challenges of 2018 and beyond

You don't even need a binder for these short briefs on the key issues facing Iowa. We’ll hold them for you on our “Roadmap for Opportunity” page.

Our first batch of two-pagers on issues you’ll hear about in the coming weeks and months — and may want to talk about — are here:
• Path to a better future starts with public education
9/26/2018 NEW
• Tuition, college loan debt rise with state cuts 9/26/2018 NEW
• Promoting economic security for Iowa workers 9/6/2018
• Restoring success of Iowa Medicaid 9/6/2018
• What real Iowa tax reform would look like 9/6/2018
• Water quality and the Nutrient Reduction Strategy 9/6/2018
• Child Care Assistance needs a boost in Iowa 9/6/2018
• Building on Iowa’s smart energy leadership 9/12/2018

Also, check out the Iowa Fiscal Partnership 2018 Tax Policy Kit.


capitolGiving Iowa workers
the cold shoulder

Changes in workers’ compensation
mean big reductions of benefits

A review of shoulder injury cases from 2017 provides a startling glimpse into the impact of changes to Iowa’s workers’ compensation system, indicating that workers who suffer serious shoulder injuries will on average lose out on $72,000 in compensation under the new law.
Full report 9/20/18
Executive summary
News release or PDF (2p)

capitolAn opportunity to boost
family economic security

New Census data on poverty,
income and health insurance
demonstrate need for good policy

Even slight improvements in poverty and health coverage for Iowans heighten the need to reinforce public policies that can help families struggling to get by. One in nine Iowans lack basic economic security, the Census shows.
News release 9/13/18

capitolStrengthening pathways
to the middle class in Iowa

Latest Cost of Living in Iowa analysis
details opportunities in work supports

Nearly 100,000 Iowa working households earn too little for a basic standard of living without public supports beyond health insurance. How can public policy be improved to help them not only get by, but to reach higher?
Part 3: Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class LATEST
News release 9/12/18

Part 1: Basic Needs Budgets
Part 2: Struggle for Thousands
Map to county-by-county tables
News release


capitolIowa needs a raise
Our latest State of Working Iowa report shows that over nearly four decades, wage growth is essentially flat for all but the highest-wage workers in Iowa.
State of Working Iowa
Wages Update
or 11-page PDF
News release (4-page PDF)




capitolSlight job increase in August
While the number of payroll jobs in Iowa rose in August, the fifth increase of the first eight months of 2018, the pace remains slow to moderate.
Iowa JobWatch report

“The 12-month increase is only a 1,800 average bump per month, but the increase is slower through the first eight months of 2018 — only 1,300 per month."
— IPP’s Mike Owen



capitolOn our blog: Evaluating UI’s
attack on its own Labor Center
Jewels like the University of Iowa Labor Center demonstrate a commitment to the mission of a flagship public institution.
Post by Colin Gordon, UI professor and IPP senior research consultant

Hit “reset” on center closings.
Post by Elizabeth Heineman, chair of the UI history department

Will the leadership of the University of Iowa ever fight back against powerful and greedy forces that have undermined it?
Post by Mike Owen, executive director of the Iowa Policy Project

capitolUnclear water, clear problems
Report: Blue-green algae threat grows
— as do water pollution warnings

Sometimes the black-and-white data are obscured by blue-green clouds in the water — but the dangers of growing toxins in Iowa water are clear.

Full report (PDF) 6/21/2018
Executive summary (1 pg PDF)
News release

Iowa Public Radio/Radio Iowa story


capitolWhat We Got with Iowa's Backroom Tax Overhaul
Less revenue for services, more benefits to the wealthy, no reform
Iowa’s end-of-session tax overhaul, hatched behind closed doors with scant disclosure of details before passage, offers unbalanced breaks for the wealthy, a $400 million-a-year cut in revenues when the state already faced mid-year budget cuts and underfunded services. Oh, about those promises of “reform” and simplifying tax filing? Don't bother looking — it didn’t happen.

See our Iowa Fiscal Partnership analysis of the final tax legislation by Charles Bruner and Peter Fisher

See Peter Fisher’s blog post: Five things to know

Iowa Fiscal Partnership 2018 Tax Policy Kit

Mike Owen's interview on Insight on Business


higher ed graphOver 15 years, state slashes commitment
to higher ed in share of university budgets

New on our blog: Tuiton rising — is anyone surprised?
This week’s announcement of plans to raise tuition at Iowa universities should not surprise anyone. When the Legislature cuts back, the regents need to fill in the gaps. And that creates new gaps, in family budgets immediately, and beyond, with — student debt.
Iowa Policy Points post by Brandon Borkovec
4/3/2018

Research giveaways: Here we go again
Big profitable companies again the big gainers from $66 million subsidies
Begun as an effort to help startup businesses in research, Iowa's lucrative Research Activities Credit program once again is shown — in an official state report — to be a boon to large, profitable companies that pay no state income tax.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership news release
2/15/2018


matrixpigsIowa's explosion of CAFOs

Rapid growth carries impacts on water quality and public health
Iowa should consider major policy changes including a moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that pose growing environmental and health challenges. A new report also recommends revising the failing Master Matrix.
Full report
1/25/2018
Executive summary or PDF (2 pages)1/25/2018
News release 1/25/2018


state quarterThe realities of Iowa education funding


Iowans long took for granted a strong and ongoing commitment to local schools. That is increasingly threatened by budget choices at the Statehouse.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder 1/8/2018 PDF