Balancing Out Impact of Gas Tax Increase
Iowa Could Raise the Wage if Raising the Gas Tax to Help Low-Income Working Families
Inequality graph 2015Raising Iowa’s tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by 10 cents per gallon would go a long way toward financing needed street and highway repairs. It also will affect low-income working families disproportionately more than it will high-income households. There are ways to offset those effects.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder (2-page PDF) 2/24/15

The Minimum Wage — Over 7 Years at $7.25
Iowa, Once a Leader, Now a Laggard

MinWage875As lawmakers haggle with no certainty of a solution, minimum-wage workers keep falling behind in Iowa. No state minimum wage has been stuck longer at $7.25 than Iowa’s, last raised in 2008.

Impact of raise to $8.75
Iowa Policy Points post by Mike Owen 2/24/15

Impact of raise to $10.10
Iowa Policy Project fact sheet (2-page PDF) 2/9/15

No Income Taxes, Big Checks from State
Lucrative program lets big companies erase taxes, and get extra in checks
More companies are benefiting from a lucrative tax subsidy that permits large, profitable corporations to get checks from the state without paying any Iowa income tax.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership news release (or 2-page PDF) 2/11/15

Five Years Later, No Progress on Reforms of Costly, Unaccountable Tax Credits
Five years ago, a special Tax Credit Review Panel offered a report on Iowa tax-credit programs, with some tough recommendations. Policy makers have not responded.
Iowa Policy Points post by Mike Owen 1/8/15

Who Pays graph 2015Inequality and Clean Water — Challenges and Solutions
IPP staff discuss critical issues facing Iowans:
Peter Fisher on KVFD’s Devine Intervention about income inequality 1/29/15
David Osterberg on KVFD’s Devine Intervention about Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy 1/22/15Also read his Cedar Rapids Gazette guest opinion (click here)
Mike Owen on CBS-2, Cedar Rapids about child care and household budgets 1/19/15

Inequities in Iowa Income Growth ...
Low- and Middle-Income Iowans Pay Largest Shares of Income in State, Local Tax
Inequality graph 2015The top 1 percent of earners captured almost two-thirds of income growth in Iowa during the recovery from the last recession, a new national report shows.
Iowa Policy Project news release
or 2-page PDF 1/26/15
Iowa fact sheet (2-page PDF)
Full report from the Economic Analysis Research Network
... and Inequities in Iowa Tax Law
Low- and Middle-Income Iowans Pay Largest Shares of Income in State, Local Tax
Who Pays graph 2015As new tax proposals emerge, the consequences of past decisions remain clear: The more you make, the less a share of income you can expect to pay in Iowa taxes.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership news release
or 2-page PDF 1/14/15
Iowa fact sheet (2-page PDF)
Full report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy
No Action, Predictable Results
After State Officials' Inaction vs. Pollution, DM Water Works Tired of Waiting
Why should no one be surprised by Des Moines Water Works going to court? It is because the Governor and his administration have failed to act.
Iowa Policy Points post by David Osterberg 1/12/15

Iowa’s Economy
Choices for Economic Growth: Consultant Cites Valid Education, Infrastructure Concerns
But once more, we're hearing the same old tired and inaccurate business-lobby spin about tax policy, which is competitive for businesses in Iowa and in some cases overly generous to a selected group.
Iowa Policy Project statement 12/18/14

Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class: The Role of Work Supports
The Cost of Living in Iowa
cliff effects graphIowa families could find a clearer path to the middle class if work-support policies were better designed to “make work pay.” A new Iowa Policy Project report shows where work supports work — and fall short — in boosting families toward a basic-needs household budget.
Full report 10/29/14
Executive summary
News release

Also see:
Part 1: Basic Family Budgets

County data (map, tables) • County and regional spreadsheet

Part 2: Many Iowa Families Struggle
to Meet Basic Needs

Making More — Having Less
Eligibility rules in Iowa's Child Care Assistance program create income “cliffs” that penalize families as they earn more, but still at low incomes.
Full report (5-page PDF)AppendixNews release 3/13/14

More Challenges for Iowa Families' Household Budgets

• Uninsurance: Iowa ahead of most states, but quarter million Uninsured
Iowa income and poverty trends
Wages: Growth lags at median, lower incomesThe State of Working Iowa online
Food insecurity: A problem for 12 percent of Iowa households

Clean Water for Iowans
Frac-Sand Mining: The Threats to Health and the Environment
IPP's David Osterberg, who co-authored a ground-breaking report on frac-sand mining, talked about the issue on Iowa Public Radio's “River to River” program.
Listen to the program 9/2/14

New on Our Blog: Stop Politicizing Water Quality

Water quality in Iowa is so bad that any new initiative to improve our waters is probably a good thing. That said, Iowa farm groups’ new initiative to take action on agricultural pollution of our waters comes with a troubling rollout.
Iowa Policy Points post by David Osterberg 8/26/14

A Threat Unmet: Why Iowa's Nutrient Strategy Falls Short Against Water Pollution

Bodies of water across Iowa increasingly are in peril, and send their problems on to the Mississippi River and on to the Gulf of Mexico. Public policy has failed to address it, and shortcomings of the 2013 Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) promise more of the same.

David OsterbergAaron Kline Full report by David Osterberg and Aaron Kline 7/17/14
27-pg PDF of full report, including executive summary
2-pg PDF of executive summary only
News release or 2-page PDF
Osterberg interview with Mike Devine on KVFD-1400 Fort Dodge 7/24/14

“The Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a blunt tool that takes different approaches to urban and rural runoff, and is especially weak on the larger, rural source of pollution from applied nutrients.” — David Osterberg

Immigrants in Iowa: What New Iowans Contribute to the State Economy

Undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $64 million in state and local taxes, according to a new Iowa Policy Project report. The authors suggest immigration reform that expands work authorization or access to citizenship would increase the already significant contribution to Iowa by all immigrants — documented or not.

Heather GibneyPeter Fisher Full report by Heather Gibney and Peter Fisher 7/2/14
16-pg PDF of full report, including executive summary
2-pg PDF of executive summary only, or read online
News release
Fisher interview with Mike Devine on KVFD-1400 Fort Dodge 7/31/14

“The vitality that immigrants bring to Iowa communities is expanded by their economic contributions, as well as the taxes they pay — with limited access in some cases to the services they support.” — Heather Gibney