After a productive 2013 session and with an election looming in November, many have predicted the 2014 session to be short and focused. A short and focused session is a positive goal, but a higher priority is pro-taxpayer action for all Iowans: lower taxes, more economic growth, and more high-paying jobs.
Iowans for Tax Relief will work for these four pro-taxpayer priorities in this session and ask Legislators to work with us for all Iowa taxpayers:
Income Tax Reform is desperately needed in this state! Many good businesses and jobs go to other states because of Iowa’s out-of-control individual and corporation income tax rates. Our most urgently needed reform is an across-the-board income tax cut that will slash rates for all taxpayers and provide true tax relief.
Federal Deductibility must be protected. Your right to deduct all your federal income tax payments on your Iowa income tax return is an essential principle of fairness: no tax on a tax! Iowans for Tax Relief has always made protecting federal deductibility a top priority because it would be wrong for the state government to tax you on money which was used solely to pay your federal income taxes.
When you hear the false claim that federal deductibility makes Iowa’s income tax rates look artificially high, knock it down with the truth: states without federal deductibility have a dishonest, artificially low tax rate. Iowa has honest tax rates on the income you have left after the IRS has taken its big slice. Let’s hold our heads high, be proud that Iowa has honest tax rates, and work to cut those high rates for all Iowans.
Pension Reform for Iowa’s government employees is necessary for the state to remain financially stable. Iowa’s defined benefit IPERS system is antiquated and is a huge liability for Iowa’s taxpayers. Pension and benefit reform for Iowa’s government employees is long overdue and now is the time for the Legislature to enact real reform that will bring savings to the taxpayers and bring Iowa’s government employee benefits into the 21st century.
Iowa’s State Legislators are eligible to receive IPERS and state government health insurance. This is a dangerous conflict of interest. Pension and benefit reform for government employees is a difficult issue, but a good place for Legislators to start would be with themselves. Iowa Legislators are intended to be part-time citizen lawmakers; they should not get pensions and health insurance from the government. We call on Legislators to lead by example and place the taxpayers’ best interests above their own.
No New Taxes or tax increases. Iowa is fortunate to be financially solvent and without any major current crisis. Any challenges facing the state can be resolved without imposing new taxes or increasing current taxes. Iowans are overtaxed and insist that the Legislature prioritize needs and wisely allocate the ample tax dollars they are already extracting.
We realize these priorities will take commitment and determination to accomplish, but now is the time for Legislators to take a strong stand for these four goals and get to work. We will continue to update you, through our weekly Watchdog, on these priorities and other taxpayer issues as the session progresses. Iowans for Tax Relief will again be a strong voice for you, the taxpayer, in this Legislative session!