Enhancing Economic Opportunity for Iowans — Or Not
Governor Vetoes Education, Child Care Provisions
Late Thursday, Governor Branstad made several vetoes of late-session deals by state lawmakers — including $55.7 million in one-time funding that had been designed to augment regular but low funding for Iowa's schools, and a provision that would have made more low-income working families eligible for child-care assistance. His stated reasons don't match his rhetoric.

“Governor Branstad’s words ring hollow in his decisions to cut education funding and to prevent greater access to child care assistance.” — IPP Executive Director Mike Owen

Read our Iowa Fiscal Partnership statement 7/2/15

Cleaning Up Iowa’s Waters
Deficiencies of Nutrient Reduction Strategy focus of debate

David Osterberg at KVFDIPP's David Osterberg went on the air recently in Fort Dodge for a civil conversation with Webster County farmers to discuss issues surrounding Iowa’s “Nutrient Reduction Strategy” to clean rivers, lakes and streams. KVFD-AM 1400 host Michael Devine devoted his first hour of the June 11 program to this important discussion, including Osterberg's “Choose 2” recommendation to require farm operations not currently acting to reduce runoff to join farmers who are doing their part.

Read “A Threat Unmet,” IPP’s July 2014 report on the Nutrient Reduction Strategy by David Osterberg and Aaron Kline
27-pg PDF of full report, including executive summary
2-pg PDF of executive summary only

Iowa JobWatch: Growth is 'Painfully Slow'
May jobs erase April losses as jobless rate stays at 3.8 percent
A May increase of 2,200 jobs kept Iowa on a long-term slow pace in job growth, while the state unemployment rate stayed at 3.8 percent. Iowa is nearly 38,000 jobs behind job levels at the start of the Great Recession.

“At our current pace, this jobs deficit shows Iowa still has a steep climb to full recovery, let alone to Governor Branstad's unattainable goal of 200,000 jobs over five years.” — IPP Executive Director Mike Owen

Read our Iowa JobWatch statement 6/19/15

Minimum wage graphicA new goal: $12 by 2020
As U.S., Iowa let minimum wage erode,
new proposal would benefit 436,000 in Iowa

Proponents of a minimum-wage increase propose bringing the wage floor back up to where it was in the late 1960s, in five steps.
Economic Policy Institute report 4/30/15
Iowa Policy Project fact sheet (2-page PDF) 4/28/15

Also see these IPP resources
• Impact of raise to $8.75: IPP fact sheet (2-page PDF) 3/31/15
Iowa Policy Points post by Mike Owen 2/24/15
• Impact of raise to $10.10: IPP fact sheet (2-page PDF) 2/9/15
The Cost of Living in Iowa — What it takes to get by in our state

Choosing Winners from the Top Down

Non-Resident Millionaires Benefit in Flat-Tax Option Plan
New data from the Department of Revenue show most resident Iowa taxpayers with income under $200,000 see no benefit in the proposed flat-tax option; and those who do have a much smaller benefit than millionaires.

Flat Tax graph Policy Brief
Department of Revenue estimate — tax plan choices
Department of Revenue estimate — tax plan benefit differences

House Flat-Tax Option Showers Benefits at High Incomes
Tax legislation pending in the Iowa House would shower most benefits on higher income Iowans, while reducing revenues by nearly half a billion dollars.
Policy Brief
Revised with new data, 3/26/15
or 2-page PDF

Keeping Ahead of the Kansans — Iowa’s Neighbors Show the Folly of Drastic Cuts to State Income Tax
See Policy Brief or 2-page PDF 4/9/15

Iowa’s Problem of Priorities
Bill Starts Coming Due on Costly, Excessive Business Property Tax Cut

Tax cuts have consequences. In the case of the massive commercial property tax cut enacted two years ago, those consequences have become all too real.
PeterFisherPhotoIowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder (or 2-page PDF) 3/10/15
Peter Fisher's guest opinion in The Gazette, Cedar Rapids 4/5/15
or in The Des Moines Register 3/6/15

MikeOwenPhotoBudgeting in the dark when the business lobby comes first
If schools were really getting the “first bite at the apple,” as some are so fond of saying, school aid would have been set many months ago for the coming budget year.
Iowa Policy Points post by Mike Owen 4/13/15

Funding decisions? Overdue. School budgets? On time. Political games? Still going, as scheduled.
Mike Owen's guest opinion in The Press-Citizen, Iowa City 4/18/15

Balancing Out Impact of Gas Tax Increase
Iowa Could Raise the Wage if Raising the Gas Tax to Help Low-Income Working Families
Inequality graph 2015Raising Iowa’s tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by 10 cents per gallon would go a long way toward financing needed street and highway repairs. It also will affect low-income working families disproportionately more than it will high-income households. There are ways to offset those effects.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder (2-page PDF) 2/24/15

No Income Taxes, Big Checks from State
Lucrative program lets big companies erase taxes, and get extra in checks
More companies are benefiting from a lucrative tax subsidy that permits large, profitable corporations to get checks from the state without paying any Iowa income tax.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership news release (or 2-page PDF) 2/11/15

Five Years Later, No Progress on Reforms of Costly, Unaccountable Tax Credits
Five years ago, a special Tax Credit Review Panel offered a report on Iowa tax-credit programs, with some tough recommendations. Policy makers have not responded.
Iowa Policy Points post by Mike Owen 1/8/15