Common Good Iowa

Tax cut defense resource center

Iowa lawmakers have repeatedly cut taxes over the last three decades in ways that provide the greatest benefits to the highest-income taxpayers while ratcheting down investments that historically made the state attractive to raise a family or do business — including public schools and public health.

Now lawmakers are proposing a new round of income tax cuts, up to the full elimination of the state income tax.

Here is your one-stop shop for resources on the dangers of these extreme tax cuts, and what you can do to push back.

Common Good Iowa briefs and fact sheets

Brief | Protecting Iowa taxes protects every Iowan

August 22, 2023 | For a quarter of a century, Iowa lawmakers have chopped away at the state income tax, giving the biggest breaks to the wealthiest. With a 20% cut in the state budget by FY2028 already coming with new tax cuts, Gov. Reynolds would fully erase the income tax -- and thus half of all state services. The idea precludes the kind of investments needed to make Iowa a better place to live, work, raise a family and do business.

Fact sheet | Constitutional amendment would risk schools, safety and health by imposing minority rule on income-tax increases

April 6, 2022 | SJR 2006 would place on the statewide ballot a constitutional amendment that, if approved, would essentially lock in devastating income tax changes long after their proponents have left office. The proposal would allow a mere one-third minority in either the House or Senate to block any increase in income or corporate income tax rates.

Brief | Constitutional Amendment would block voters' will and essential services

March 23, 2022 | A proposed constitutional amendment would enshrine minority rule on tax and budget policy, blocking a large majority of legislators from acting on behalf of the wishes of the voters they represent. It is a betrayal of fundamental democratic principles on which representative government is founded.  A “no” vote would be worth two “yes” votes. 

Fact sheet | Why tax cuts won’t change seniors’ decisions to move or stay

February 16, 2022 | by Peter Fisher | People do not move from state to state over tax policy, research has consistently shown. This is true for the elde­­rly or for people of all ages. While those pushing a tax-cut agenda use the contrary argument to make their case, it is good to take a step back and look at the research.

Brief | Iowa Tax proposals would worsen existing racial inequalities

February 9, 2022 | Our state’s tax system — like those of most other states — favors white Iowans over Iowans of color, especially Black Iowans. That’s because the tax code advantages those at the top of the income distribution, who are disproportionately white, as it disadvantages those at the bottom, who are disproportionately families of color. Current tax proposals would exacerbate disadvantages facing families of color. 

Brief | Iowa and Kansas: Will it be Déjà vu all over again?

Feb. 1, 2022 | By Peter Fisher | Kansas took the leap that Iowa legislators are considering now, to drastically cut taxes -- even eliminate the income tax. It was a dramatic failure, and Iowa could expect the same. Massive income tax cuts would cause serious harm, to public schools and other important services.

Brief | Governor Reynolds' flat-income tax plan: Not flat, not fair

January 18, 2022 | Iowa’s tax system is upside down: Those with the lowest income pay a higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes than those at the top. Along comes the governor with a “flat tax” proposal that she has defined as “fair.” In fact, it would make things worse with a tax system that is heavily weighted in favor of those who have the highest incomes. It would make the Iowa system even less flat, more skewed in favor of the rich.

Fact sheet | New income tax cuts: A recipe for disaster and inequity

January 7, 2022 | Within months of passing tax cuts that when fully phased in will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, lawmakers are proposing a new round of income tax cuts, up to the full elimination of the state income tax. Eliminating or significantly cutting the state income tax is irresponsible. Here's why.


Jan. 23, 2022 | Peter Fisher | Des Moines Register op-ed | Kim Reynolds' tax proposal is neither flat nor fair when looking at the big picture

Jan 20, 2022 | Mike Owen | Quad City Times op-ed | Reynolds' disappointing and dangerous tax cut focus

Jan. 18, 2022 | David Osterberg | Cedar Rapids Gazette op-ed | If flat is fair, raise the Iowa income tax 





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