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Governor Reynolds touts Invest in Iowa Act

February 27, 2020
By John Speer Central Iowa Press ( , Reinbeck Courier

"I have no interest in raising taxes," Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds remarked as she opened a town hall at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 19.

Governor Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg were here to pitch the Invest in Iowa Act, their vision of a continuation of the effort they say will "modernize the state's tax structure over time." Reynolds signed the legislation in 2018.

Among their aims is to made the state a place "where young Iowans will choose to continue to live" and attract more people to the state, Reynolds said.

Article Photos

Iowa Govenror Kim Reynolds explains benefits seen in the Invest in Iowa Act which range from tax relief, a fully funded mental health system and water quality and outdoor recreation support during a Town Hall meeting at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Lt, Govenror Adam Gregg is at right.
CIP/John Speer

Reynolds identified three main goals they are working to implement- income tax relief, a fully funded mental health care system and full support of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Creation of the conservation-related fund was approved by Iowa voters as a constitutional amendment in 2010.

To pay for the three points, the Governor and Lt. Governor are calling for a one-cent Iowa sales tax increase which is projected to raise $540 million in new state revenue.

They maintain the effort will result in an average 10% income tax reduction next year offsetting the sales tax increase. it will also cut property taxes by reducing the current $47.28 per capita tax mental health levy imposed in each county state-wide to $12.50 Governor Reynolds said.

In addition, it will lower the highest tax rate from 8.5% to 5.5% along with reducing the total number of Iowa tax brackets from the current nine to four by the year 2023.

More funding for regional mental health care will be an expansion of the Childrens Mental Health System established by Reynolds with what was described as "overwhelming" legislative support last year. A total of $80 million or more is designated for added state funding for the program.

In addition, Reynolds made the case for the natural resources trust fund which has not been funded. She pointed to what she said was a strong effort for water quality improvement among the key points of the program. The information provided says 3/8s of the one-cent sales tax would go toward sustaining the trust, just shy of $100 million for water quality and $52 million would go toward outdoor recreation.

Other program points listed for expanded tax relief as part of the package in information provided include repeal of ester excise tax, exemption of diapers and feminine hygiene products from sales tax and an increase for net income eligibility from $45,000 to $90,000 for Early Childhood Development and Dependent Care tax credits.



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