Many Democrat newsletters include this information:

Tax Credits, Free Tax Filing Assistance Available to Iowans

State and federal income taxes will be due soon.  Iowa state income tax returns are due on April 30, which is a Tuesday while federal income taxes still need to be filed by April 15th, which is a Monday.

The Department of Revenue offers several options for filing your taxes, including some free options for low and moderate income filers, elderly, and those with disabilities.  The options to “File for Free” for tax year 2018, which must be filed by April 2019, can be found at https://tax.iowa.gov/tax-year-2017-file-free.

In addition, the Department of Human Services works with partners to provide tax preparation services to eligible individuals.  The federal Internal Revenue Service provides a lookup for free tax preparation services available at http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep.  AARP also offers free tax preparation to anyone over age 50.  Additional information on the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide can be found at https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/.

Iowans can track their refund online through the Department of Revenue.  Taxpayers will need their Social Security Number, the tax year they wish to track, and the refund amount.  Using this information, the status of a refund can be tracked at https://www.idr.iowa.gov/wheresmyrefund/.

Earned Income Tax Credit

Iowans that qualify are encouraged to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit.  The credit is available for working individuals and families that meet certain income restrictions.  If you worked at any time in the last year you could be eligible for the credit.  If you file for the federal EITC, you likely qualify for a state credit as well.  The credit does not affect eligibility for public benefits such as Medicaid, FIP, Child Care Assistance, or subsidized housing.  Additional information on the Iowa Earned Income Tax Credit can be found at https://dhs.iowa.gov/EITC.

Plan for School Infrastructure Improvements Moves Ahead

The Iowa House is working on a proposal this year to extend funding for school infrastructure improvements for another 20 years.

A top priority of school leaders across Iowa for several years, the plan under consideration would extend the one cent local sales tax for school infrastructure (SAVE) through 2051 instead of expiring in 2031. The plan has advanced through two committees in the Iowa House.

The bill increases property tax relief to school districts with low valuations and creates a new fund for property tax relief to all school districts.  A separate Career Academy competitive grant fund is established to help build job training facilities.

More transparency is provided in the plan by allowing voters to reapprove the district’s revenue purpose statement.  If SAVE funds are going to be obligated for 20 years, boards must hold a public hearing and give citizens an opportunity to petition for a direct vote of the people.

Details still need to be addressed on the Career Academy fund and the percentage set for the property tax relief.

The House bill has advanced to the House floor, and a similar bill is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.