The Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans is alarmed with Gov. Kim Reynold’s vision for Iowa. Iowa seniors value a strong economy where our families can live and thrive. From tax cuts to undermining our schools and our future ability to fund public needs, her vision is out of focus.
A strong economy needs a strong infrastructure, but less than six years of Republican leadership, Iowa has earned the dubious distinction as either number 1 or 2 in the nation for deficient bridges depending on if you are talking about number or percentage.
Our schools were once the envy of the nation but instead of continuing the commitment to strengthen our public school system, our governor is abandoning the public school system by redirecting public money to private schools.
Our governor readily took credit for the current budget surplus without acknowledgement the action of the Biden administration’s efforts distributing direct aid to citizens, states and local governments, most states had a budget surplus last year. One notable exception is our neighbor to the east, Illinois. Illinois has a flat income tax rate of 4.95 percent which does not raise enough revenue to support the services Illinois citizens demand. Our governor is proposing to follow Illinois’ lead with a tax of 4 percent while neglecting to indicate the coming increases in sales and property taxes.
The Alliance for Retired Americans believes taxes should be progressive, should be based on the ability to pay and the income source should not matter. Income is income. Currently, Iowa’s lowest tax rate is .33 percent for taxable annual income above $1,676. The tax rate on income above $75,420 is 8.53 percent.
Is it fair to increase the tax rate of those least able to pay to give a tax cut to those more well off? Is it fair to exempt various kinds of income from any taxes at all? While cuts to taxes on pensions, 401k distribution and cash rent for retired farmers would help seniors, just because a person is retired does not equate to being needy. Seniors who are not fortunate enough to have pension income and works to supplement their meager Social Security check will face a big jump in taxes. Is that fair?
Iowa had a reputation for “Iowa Nice.” These proposals make a mockery of that moniker.
Mike McCarthy, President
Kay Pence, Vice President
Ken Sagar, Treasurer
Jan Corderman, Secretary