Flat Taxes Are Not Fair

Whatever happened to Iowa Nice? This Legislative Session, with so many of us still being touched by the Covid Pandemic and its aftermath, Governor Reynolds and Republican lawmakers should be finding ways to work together with both sides of the aisle to create legislation to help Iowans, instead they are making life harder.

The needs of working families in Iowa are being ignored.

  • Across the state, Iowans want improved access to healthcare, but the Governor keeps it out of reach by outsourcing Medicaid to private companies.
  • Our kids need to be able to compete, but our education system is lacking the funding it needs to prepare the next generation including a 2.5% funding increase that is not even half of the rate of inflation rather than cutting corporate taxes.
  • More Iowans will be forced into poverty with the proposed changes to unemployment benefits including a one-week waiting period, shortened benefit weeks and requiring workers to take a job that pays less than the previous one after only two weeks.
  • Parents need quality, affordable child care, not overburdened workers with ratios too high to be safe and unsupervised 16-year-old children caring for toddlers.
  • The state’s earned income tax credit could be doubled and the child and dependent care tax credit increased.

Iowa had an influx of federal dollars — sent to states by Congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden—to help with the crises facing working families – funds that could have supported healthcare professionals, schools and Iowa workers but instead of using these funds to support Iowans in need unspent funds are being called a surplus using it as an excuse to give the wealthiest among us a massive tax cut.

Statement from Common Good Iowa Executive Director Anne Discher: “Tax policy is the foundation of public services that support Iowans and our economy. That foundation took a hit… The tax bill …  sets Iowa on a steep path to the bottom. It’s a giveaway for the wealthiest Iowans, that fully phased in, will cost $1.9 billion a year. There is no way to sustain that kind of revenue reduction against a state budget that is currently around $8 billion — not without tough, unpopular cuts to services Iowans care about.

Iowans care about good schools for their children and their grandchildren. Iowans care if clean drinking water comes out of their taps and if it’s safe to swim in Iowa lakes in the summer. They care about affordable, safe child care. They want to know they can find mental health care for their kids. These tax cuts imperil every one of these priorities.

The disastrous tax-cut experiment in Kansas in the last decade should have been a lesson, of both economics and common sense. Bill boosters justify severe cuts based on a surplus built on long-term underfunding of key priorities and a short-term boost in the economy driven by federal pandemic aid. It will not last.

And many — but not all — Iowans will pay the price. Our already upside-down tax system will become even more tilted to the wealthy. Lower- and middle-income Iowans will be at an even further disadvantage. Property taxes and sales taxes will become a bigger share of state and local revenues.

Before today’s kindergartners graduate, schools will close, teachers will leave, and families will see some combination of fewer course options and higher property taxes.

Iowa, once known for transparency, has let its guard down. In less than 24 hours, legislators hatched their deals in back rooms and made an unwarranted rush to the floor. They will now promote their bill as the largest tax cut in state history and make big promises that time is certain to prove hollow. This is a sad day for Iowans.”

We need a plan that strengthens everyone’s pocketbooks, not just the wealthy few.

Bottom line: don’t believe anyone who tells you they fight for low- or middle-income Iowans if they try to sell you a flat tax.

Flat taxes are not fair.


Find your Legislator at:  https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find

Or Call: Senate Switchboard: 515-281-3371  //  House Switchboard: 515-281-3221

Governor’s Office: 515-281-5211