***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on grassroots financial supporters to exist. If you appreciate what we do, please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter (even just $5/month would go a long way in sustaining us!) We also offer advertising options for advocacy groups, events and businesses! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News Media” — this is YOUR chance to do something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250 Thank you so much for your support and please invite your friends and family to like us on Facebook, sign up for our email newsletter and visit our website!***

We are officially in legislative overtime here in the Iowa Statehouse. Last Friday was the last officially scheduled day of session, but as I explained in last week’s newsletter, there is still more work to be done.

We have made some progress this week. Yesterday we passed five of our budget bills on the House floor.  The Agriculture, Education, Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund, and Economic Development budgets now head to the Senate, while the Transportation budget will head down to the Governor’s desk. Today, we are continuing in our progress by debating more of our budget bills on the House floor.

Iowa House Passes Tax Policy Compromise Through Committee
Over the last few weeks, the House has been negotiating with the Iowa Senate and Governor over the state’s budget for Fiscal Year 2022. One particular area of focus has been tax policy.  Following those negotiations, Iowa House Republicans proposed a compromise bill. The bill gained bipartisan support as it passed unanimously through the Ways and Means Committee this week.

Here are some of the biggest pieces contained in the bill:

  • Removal of triggers from the 2018 tax reform bill which ensures income tax cuts go into effect Jan. 1, 2023
  • Phaseout the inheritance tax over 10 years
  • Return the Taxpayer Relief Fund ($450 million currently) to Iowans in the form of a credit on 2021 tax returns
  • Increase eligibility for the Child Care Tax Credits from families making $45k to $90k
  • Increase the percentage and raise the cap for the School Tuition Organization tax credit
  • Exempt COVID-19 grant money and Paycheck Protection Plan loans from state income tax
  • Require payment parity for mental health services provided via telehealth and in-person

The bill contains many more provisions and you can read the whole thing HERE. Iowans elected us to our 59-seat majority in part because of the disciplined, responsible approach to the state budget that they have come to expect from our caucus. We’ve proposed a plan that is fiscally sound, eases the tax burden on Iowans, and includes priorities of the House, Senate and Governor.

Author: Pat Grassley