Category: Iowa Governor

Future of Commercial Tax Reform This Session Shaky

tax battleDespite both Parties rhetoric to the contrary, I am hearing the chances of any significant Commercial Tax Reform in Iowa is dwindling.

Though legislation has passed each chamber, the Conference Committee tasked with finding a compromise both sides are comfortable with will struggle mightily.  This is largely due to the fact that the structure for reforming the tax code that passed by each chamber are not compatible with each other.  While Senate Democrats are insisting on a tax credit formula which businesses apply for and are granted, the House Republicans and the Governor want changes to the percentage assessed values are taxed at as well as lower caps on local property taxes.

I highly doubt that either side will give much on their chosen structure …

2013 Legislative Session Delivering Little Hope for Conservatives So Far

Iowa HouseQuestion: What has happened so far at the Statehouse this session?

Answer: Mostly a whole lot of nothing.

With potentially as little as three weeks left before they gavel out this has been one of the most uneventful sessions since I began following them closely.  There could still be some fireworks in store as the larger ticket items get discussed, but as it stands now nearly everything Governor Branstad has signed into law has been with near unanimous consent from both Parties.  In fact, of the 36 bills he has signed so far most have been technical or clerical items passed with no dissent—and all but a couple have had no more than 3 no votes between the two chambers (notable exceptions being SF 184 …

What You Need To Know In The Upcoming Commercial Property Tax Battle

One of the top three priorities for the upcoming legislative session will be finally putting something on the books to bring Iowa’s commercial property tax rate in line with the rest of the nation.  After much angling by both sides last year, ultimately no adjustments were made to the tax code.

Below you will find a very brief recap and analysis of the three plans that were on the table last year.  They are important to know since past will certainly be prologue in this debate.  Both sides are essentially pushing the same proposed solutions as they did a year ago—and one way or another the law will reflect whichever side wins on the issue.


Governor Branstad’s Plan (House Study Bill 519)

This …

The State of Iowa Mourns the loss of Senator Pat Ward

Iowans all across the state were shocked and saddened this morning by the news that Senator Pat Ward had passed away after losing her battle with breast cancer.  She had served as a Republican in the Iowa Senate since 2004 and was an extremely respected woman and legislator.  The following are statements released by Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and Republican Party of Iowa Chairman A.J Spiker, and TCR Publisher Art Smith.

All of us at The Conservative Reader pass on our sincere condolences to the Ward family.  She will be missed.


Governor Branstad

“I was with shock and sadness that learned of my friend Pat Ward’s passing. She had a wonderful career in …

A Tradition Is Born: Senator Jack Whitver To Host Branstad and Latham At Ankeny BBQ

With the primary and caucus season officially over, the time for Iowa Republicans to come together has now arrived.  For Republicans in Ankeny and the surrounding areas, literally getting together will be on the menu Saturday May 26th at the Ankeny Band Shell in Wagner Park—along with some world-class barbeque.

The event is the first annual “Senator Whitver Memorial Day Weekend Picnic,” and it will feature some great guests.  Among those speaking will be Governor Terry Branstad, Congressman Tom Latham, and Secretary of State Matt Schultz.

For Senator Whitver the idea of having a picnic was the perfect way to bridge two good causes, “There is such a feeling of community in Ankeny and I wanted to start an event that can be an annual …

2012 Legislative Session Ends Minus Tax Deal: Analysis and Governor’s Statement

After failing to reach a compromise on tax reform for the second consecutive session, today the Iowa Legislature adjourned until next year.  In the end the Governor-backed House proposal on property tax reform failed to even see a vote in the Senate, as Senator Gronstal refused to bring it to the floor.

We will have analysis on this in the coming days, but my gut tells me that privately many Republicans, especially those in the 2010 crew, are more than willing to gamble on a majority in the Iowa Senate after November.  This is not to say that they did not want to put something on the books this session, but there are multiple reasons why this conclusion was advantageous.

First, considering the alternative, the …

Has The Tea Party Wave In Iowa Crested?

The year was 2010.  In Iowa, like in the rest of the Country, a reaction to the obscene growth in size and spending at all levels of government boiled into a loud and visible public movement.  The internet was a buzz, local Tea Party chapters were springing up, and the Iowa Capitol was the site of several well attended rallies expressing the sentiment of less government and lower taxes.  Two years later, it is time to ask the question—what results have come of this?

The short answer at the state level here in Iowa is—not too much so far.

Most will argue that more patience is required—and they are right.  Many will cite a variety of reasons that explain the lack of great action—some valid …

The Tea Party Comes To Ankeny: An Interview With Stacey Rogers(Part 2 of 2)

This is second installment of a 2-part interview.  To read part one click here.

Health Insurance Exchange

The debate raging on a national level regarding Obama Care has produced 50 separate state level clashes on this unpopular legislation’s viability, practicality, and future. Currently 27 states are suing the Federal government on the grounds the law is unconstitutional, while last week a referendum in Ohio resulted in 66% of voters expressing their wishes to be excluded.

In Iowa the form this debate has taken largely centers on the state level requirement to set up a health insurance exchange to work in accordance with Obama Care. Democrats tried last session to construct this exchange but the measure failed and set the scene for an all-out slug …

A First Time Candidate For A First Time District: An Interview With John Landon (Part 1 of 2)

This is part one of a two part piece.  A link to the second installment covering the topics of education, health care, illegal immigration,  gay marriage, the tea party and an early analysis of this race can be found at the end of this article or by clicking on Part 2 here.

The population explosion the city of Ankeny has seen over the last ten years has brought many changes to this Des Moines suburb. Along with construction of a new high school and the surge of large retailers that accompany a population growth from 27,000 to 45,000 in one decade, Ankeny has also received a make-over in its state legislative districts.

In terms of the Iowa House, what resulted is for the first time …

Iowa’s Gubernatorial Inaugural

I would have liked to have gotten this posted Friday, but family issues interjected themselves.

As you know, both Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds were sworn in to their respective offices Friday.  The Inauguration ceremony, which is conducted as a joint session of the Iowa House and Iowa Senate, was held at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.  There was appropriate pomp and respect in the procession and swearing in of both Reynolds and Branstad, and about 2,000 people were present to witness the event.

The music at the event was awesome, and the selection of songs by the Heartland Youth Choir was wonderful.  I deeply appreciate the pride and respect given to our flags and the servicemen and women conducting …

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