Category: Taxes

Why The Surplus Should Go Back To Iowans – Now

Iowa Politics Money Chess TaxesThe Des Moines Register’s editorial this morning provided a concise (for Democrats) explanation about why Iowans should not get their $800 million over-payment returned to them.   It’s to be expected that now that there is extra revenue coming in, we see the Left drooling over the opportunity to spend our money.

It’s a wonder we managed to survive the past few years with so little money to spend.

But seriously, we did just fine.  And that should be the point now.  We’ve managed to do a great job of assessing where the government is spending money it doesn’t need to be spending, and cut some of it back (there’s more to cut, but we’ll leave that for another time). But even though we have one …


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 plan …


The Harsh Republican Reality of the Fiscal Cliff

I break from a majority of Republicans on the current fiscal cliff negotiations and believe the rate increases that Democrats are seeking should eventually be agreed to. More specifically I would support John Boehner signing on to taking the top bracket from 35% to 37-38% (short of the 39.6% Obama wants).

Of course the argument against doing so is the superior one—essentially that the Senate and the President want more money to spend while having not passed a budget in 3 years and having not yet put any real spending cuts or entitlement reforms on the table. But the two Parties have been at a stalemate over this issue for years and in my view the trump card is that last month they held the …


First Presidential Debate, October 3, 2012

Debate, Podium, President, Discorse, PoliticsThe most impressive thing about Wednesday night’s Presidential Debate is what it was not: a contentious barrage of angry epitaths like those being thrown throughout the blogosphere or even in some of the Republican Primary Debates. Both men were smiling, civil, and even appeared to be listening as the other spoke. President Obama carried on the same criticisms of Romney’s plans, and the Governor politely said that the President’s information was wrong. They both agreed with each other regarding areas of common ground. We suspect that the rules holding applause had a positive impact on the cordial nature of the debate, although it certainly didn’t hurt that Moderator Jim Lehrer’s folksy demeaner and attempts to steer the conversation helped keep the discourse on an even …


3 Questions With Iowa House Candidate Jim Givant

After talking to a number of Des Moines based candidates in the last few weeks, we head out to Northeastern Iowa to touch base with the Republican candidate for Iowa House District 64, Jim Givant.

The republican side of the ledger in this district was pretty chaotic leading up to the filing deadline, as incumbent Republican Dan Rasmussen opted not to run at the last minute.  Oelwein Republican Jim Givant stepped up to the plate and set up a showdown with Democrat Oelwein City Council member Bruce Bearinger.  After getting a late start, Givant now has the campaign on schedule and already has sent 4,000 mailers and has signs and banners on the way.  For further info on his campaign and positions head to his …


3 Questions With Iowa Senate Candidate Dave Edwards

Dave Edwards is the Republican candidate for Iowa Senate District 16, the vast majority of which covers Des Moines and then swings Southeast to include Pleasant Hill.

While there is no getting around the fact that this is a Democrat stronghold (they have double the number of registered voters), if any Republican can win this district it is most certainly Dave Edwards.  What makes this race one of the most fascinating in the state this year is that Mr. Edwards is a blue collar, union member who is bringing the fight to Democrats on their turf.  He is challenging an incumbent who has already been in the Iowa Senate for 18 years (and was in the Iowa House before that), and few would argue …


The Conservative Reader: Iowa Interview with Representative Kevin Koester (Part 1 of 2)

After easily defeating a primary challenger in June, Iowa House member Kevin Koester was kind enough to sit down with The Conservative Reader: Iowa to discuss his upcoming general election in November, as well as the many issues he will be dealing with should he earn a third term in the Iowa Legislature.

The Primary, The General Election, and the Pulse of House District 38

The process of winning re-election for Rep. Koester began even before the legislative session ended, as the first order of business was winning a primary challenge by Saylor Township resident Brett Nelson.  As the session ran long, Koester made several hundred phone calls in his downtime and began getting acquainted with the voters in his newly re-drawn House District 38.…


The Costs of Obamacare

Following the Supreme Court ruling upholding The Affordable Care Act, the financial fallout for the American people must be re-highlighted.  We will have political analysis in the coming days, but for now here are the facts regarding the tax implications of this law

Comprehensive List of Tax Hikes in Obamacare

 

Individual Mandate Excise Tax(Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1% AGI/$95 1% AGI/$190 1% AGI/$285
2015 2% AGI/$325 2% AGI/$650 2% AGI/$975
2016 + 2.5% AGI/$695 2.5% AGI/$1390 2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and …


Senator Joe Bolkcom’s Political Theater Reveals Utter Disregard For Iowa Taxpayers

Perhaps no issue better illustrates the philosophical divide between left-wing Democrats and right-wing Republicans than the Earned Income Tax Credit.  Here in Iowa a theatrical stunt a few weeks back by ultra-Liberal Iowa City Democrat Senator Joe Bolkcom put the issue front and center.  In the hopes of pressuring Governor Branstad to support a huge increase in the Iowa Earned Income Tax Credit, Pleasantville resident Julie Heck was brought in to symbolize the need for this action by taking part in a press conference before then testifying in front of the Ways and Means Committee.  Ms. Heck is a single mother of three who is currently receiving the Iowa Earned Income Tax credit, and on this day set about making the case that while she …


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 …


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