Weekly Column

Public support to raise sales tax remains high

Nine years ago, voters approved a statewide ballot referendum to amend the Iowa Constitution to create the Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Support remains strong for paying for the trust fund with a sales tax increase. A recent Des Moines Register poll indicated 65 percent of Iowans support a full cent sales tax increase to pay for a combination of water quality projects and mental health services.

Soil health is gaining momentum

Across the nation, farmers, ranchers, and rural communities are finding that a key component to building a brighter future for rural America lies beneath our feet. Investments in soil health are creating more resilient food systems in the face of frequent extreme weather while reducing pollution in rivers and streams, and providing a long-term anchor for many rural economies.

To put it simply, states that make investments in building soil health are helping to create a more vibrant future for rural America.

Lawmakers: don't take away our energy independence

Last week, state lawmakers allied with Iowa’s biggest investor-owned utility to introduce House Study Bill 185. This bill would limit the ability of farms and individuals to produce their own electricity. While other Midwest states are blazing a trail in expanding solar power generation, House Study Bill 185 would set Iowa back as consumers look to cut costs and become energy independent.

Antiquated tax code hinders property tax relief

Nebraska’s economy has evolved, but the state’s tax code has not. For decades, property owners have been left to fill in the gaps as the state neglects its obligation to fund schools and other public services. For actual property tax relief to be achieved, the Unicameral must pass legislation that modernizes the tax system and raises state revenue.

Pages