Iowa’s already generous treatment of families with inheritance tax breaks
Inheritance tax repeal would take $90 million a year from services for all Iowans
As with debates about the federal estate tax, many misperceptions exist about the Iowa state inheritance tax — who pays it, how much is paid, and how it fits in the overall structure of state and local taxes governed by state law.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder 3/11/2019

Unemployment Comp:
Not broken; no fix needed

‘Solutions’ in search of problems
Iowa’s unemployment insurance system is on sound financial footing, pays benefits that are about average, and gets people back to work at the second-highest rate in the nation.

So, where's the problem legislators seem so desperate to “fix”?


Backgrounder

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

capitolReal math on school funding
Per-pupil spending has been held down
The complex way that Iowa schools are funded makes it easy to distract people from seeing what is really happening. The best gauge of the impact of state policy decisions on local school budgets is to look at the Supplemental State Aid percentage, which governs any changes in local spending per pupil in Iowa's enrollment-based budgets. The 2.06 percent growth proposal passed by the Legislature will hold schools well below a 2 percent annual average over a decade.
Roadmap for Opportunity two-pager

Recommitting to public schools
Mistake to divert even more tax dollars to private schools
Iowa taxpayers have a responsibility to support public schools, whether they have children attending them or not. Yet, even while public schools have been underfunded, Iowa taxpayers are asked to support nonpublic schools to the tune of about $66 million each year. Some would even expand this with voucher proposals.
Roadmap for Opportunity — Keep public dollars in public schools
Backgrounder on already generous subsidies to private schools

Iowa is on the right path on IPERS

System works for current, future employees
Messing with Iowa's retirement system for most state and many local public employees — as some have proposed — could eviscerate a well-functioning pension system that benefits the Iowa and local economies.
Roadmap for Opportunity — Pensions 10/25/18
IPP’s Mike Owen on KVFD “Devine Intervention” program 10/25/18


capitolThe 2019 legislative agenda:
Let Iowa values chart path

Iowa has a choice: a road to opportunity and progress, or a dead end
Surely all Iowans, of any political stripe, would agree we need opportunity for all — a traditional Iowa value. To make words like “opportunity” and “dignity” a reality, Governor Reynolds could consult IPP’s people-first “Roadmap for Opportunity.”
Guest opinion by IPP's Mike Owen, Cedar Rapids Gazette 1/28/19

Pay attention to issues Governor left out
Governor Reynolds’ Condition of the State address was upbeat, but exceedingly short on specifics of issues critical to the prosperity of Iowans. In fact, the speech was most noteworthy for issues that it did not address.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership statement 1/15/19


capitolWind turbines and health
Report examines science on health effects
There is no authoritative evidence that sound from wind turbines represents a risk to human health among neighboring residents.
Full report (PDF) 1/31/2019
Executive summary (or 2 pg PDF)
News release

‘While — to some — the sound might be annoying, research studies have established no adverse health effects.’
— Peter Thorne, head of the U of Iowa Department of Occupational and Environmental Health.


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


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