Hello District 75 from the State Capitol!
Funnel week ended this last week, which means all bills that have the potential to be debated by the full Iowa House or Senate had to pass out of the appropriate committees, except for bills that go to the committees of Appropriations, Government Oversight, and Ways & Means.
I didn’t have any subcommittees to chair but had several committee meetings during the week. On Tuesday afternoon, my schedule was open, so I was able to tour Frontier Co-op (www.frontiercoop.com) with U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson and Norway Mayor Bruce Volz. Even though I toured the Norway facility earlier last year, Frontier has opened two more production lines and continues to hire new employees. It has a wonderful day care onsite which is advantageous for many employees.
This week, the Iowa House passed a historic bill that will eventually lower the income tax rate to four percent for the people of Iowa over the next four years. This bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. The bill also exempts retirement income from income taxes and includes a new income tax exemption for retired farmers, IRAs, pensions, or annuities.
Each year, the legislature sets a budget plan to spend no more than 99% of what the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) projects for total revenue. Year after year, the actual revenue into the state’s coffers has been more than the REC’s predictions. This extra money that’s taken in above what is budgeted for is deposited into the Taxpayer Relief Fund, which has over $1 BILLION now and will grow by hundreds of millions more dollars this fiscal year!
The people of Iowa are paying too much income tax, which is why the legislature is cutting taxes. Iowans are hard workers and need to keep more of their money. Iowa has the 4th highest top individual income tax rate (6.5%) in the 12 mid-west states and is tied with Minnesota for the highest corporate income tax rate at 9.8%. These high tax rates hurt Iowa families and that is wrong.
Recently, I was fortunate to have several constituents visit the State Capitol as it was the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Pastor’s Day on the Hill. A special thanks to Pastors: Doug Woltemath of Atkins, Jeffrey Schanbacher of Blairstown, Stephen Preus of Vinton, and David Lingard of Van Horne. I also had the privilege of meeting Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, speaker of The Lutheran Hour from 2011-2017.
The signs of spring are getting closer as the snow cover melts away! Please be safe and healthy out there!