Greetings from the Statehouse: historic tax cut signed into law

By Michael Bergan

Thanks to strong leadership and responsible budgeting, Iowa’s economy remains strong – so strong that we have the opportunity to deliver the largest tax cut in Iowa history while continuing to fund Iowans’ priorities.  

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed an historic tax cut for all Iowans into law.  Thanks to strong leadership and responsible budgeting, Iowa’s economy remains strong – so strong that we have the opportunity to deliver the largest tax cut in Iowa history while continuing to fund Iowans’ priorities.  
This tax plan reduces individual income tax for all Iowans to a fair and flat rate of 3.9%. That puts Iowa at the fourth lowest income tax rate in the country. Retirement income is exempt from taxes and a new income exemption is available for farm rent income of retired farmers. The corporate tax rate will become more competitive while reducing refundability on the state’s most expensive refundable corporate tax credits.
This week, the Iowa House unanimously passed legislation that will result in more support for veterans here in Iowa. House File 2501 allows for greater flexibility in the state’s investment strategy to help grow the Veterans Trust Fund, a fund used to improve the quality of life for our Iowa veterans. Our Iowa veterans stepped up to serve our country well and they deserve our support when they return back home. 
This bill will allow the state to help more veterans by increasing the funds available to help them.
I floor managed the passage of House File 2201 updating Iowa’s controlled substances with current federal law.  During debate, I shared comments from Director Woolery of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy on some challenges we face in product proliferation and evolution. 
“The numbers and quantities of products available to Iowans is growing in the form of new substances, slightly altered formulations and mixtures.  Iowa’s crime lab has seen a 130% increase in different compounds over the last five years (from 33 to 76) and the DEA reports seeing a new substance about every three weeks.
Polysubstance use – defined as consuming two or more drugs simultaneously or in rapid succession – is becoming more common.  (Examples: fentanyl laced heroin or meth.)
Potencies are rising in several products, including: craft beers, nicotine for vaping, marijuana concentrates and edibles, meth, and illicit synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. Each of these trends poses an elevated risk to Iowans, and in combination further compounds the danger…contributing to more overdoses and deaths.
On a related note, the pace with which these changes are occurring and going to market is only getting faster, requiring quicker shorter response times.”
Adding an exclamation point on the topic of substance abuse was a visit from Macy Schultz and Ashton Rose. The North Fayette Valley Community Coalition students attended the Prevention Conference put on by Iowa’s substance abuse coalition, AC4C (Alliance for Coalitions of Change).
This conference is meant to bring awareness to the connection between substance use and mental health challenges. These challenges often go hand in hand.  Coalition Director Stacie Schroeder accompanied the students along with Ashley Havenstrite, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator with Helping Services for Youth & Families.
Other constituents at the Capitol included cattlemen Mark Putney of Elgin and Rob Medberry of Volga; Peggy Sparrgrove of Castalia advocating for the dairy industry; Farm Bureau member Erling Bilden of Elgin; and a group of students from NICC.  
Please let me know in advance if you plan to visit the Capitol while we are in session.  I can be reached by email at michael.bergan@legis.iowa.gov.

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