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Cornfields, Common Sense and Community

May 20, 2018
By State Senator Jeff Edler - R-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In the Legislature

Another busy pro-Iowa, pro-growth year in the 87th General Assembly has come to a close!

A big promise was kept for Iowans. This session the legislature passed historic tax relief for Iowa taxpayers and families. Iowa has the fourth highest top individual tax rate, and that top rate is effective at just over $70,000 of adjusted income. Iowa's top corporate rate is the highest in the country. The non-partisan Tax Foundation ranked Iowa 40th in business tax climate. US News and World Report ranked Iowa 46th in overall business environment. This state needed serious tax relief and Senate Republicans answered with SF 2417.

Article Photos

State Senator Jeff Edler
R-State Center

When you look at who benefits the most from the tax plan, the highest percentage reductions benefit the middle and low income earners. The plan also reduces or eliminates many of the corporate tax credits over a period of time, while also lowering the overall rates of taxation.

In 2019, this plan will provide $398 million in income tax relief for Iowans. Immediately, this bill reduces the amount of taxes paid by Iowans by an average of 10 percent. By 2023, the plan will reduce the number of individual income brackets from nine to four, with a top rate of 6.5 percent. The top corporate rate will be lowered to 9.8 percent.

Additionally, our plan will reduce the number of individual income tax brackets, automatically couple with most federal tax laws and provide a comprehensive review of Iowa's tax credits. It will reduce taxes on small business owners and farmers, encouraging them to grow and expand career opportunities for Iowans.

Passing tax relief for Iowa has been my goal since I decided to run for office. After much research and hard work, this plan is the tax relief Iowa families deserve, while also maintaining budget sustainability, simplifying our tax code, and making our state attractive for growing businesses.

The End of Session

On the first day of the 2017 legislative session, we promised big and bold changes. We promised to change the way the state does business and move this state in a different direction a stronger direction.

We wanted to bring prosperity to the people of Iowa and let them keep more of their money in their pockets. That was continually the focus, as was economic development and growth.

In just the first year, we passed legislation expanding Iowan's Second Amendment rights, a common-sense voter ID law, a joint resolution to let the citizens of Iowa vote on putting a 99 percent expenditure limit amendment in the state's constitution, changed laws to reward our state's best teachers, and gave our school districts more control and flexibility. We made changes to reduce the regulatory burden on Iowa's job creators and improve career opportunities for every Iowan.

This year, one of our very first votes on the Senate floor was to supply our schools with additional funding for the year and help level the playing field between urban and rural districts. We passed a bill to address water quality in Iowa, policy to expand online education for our state's students, and an energy policy that reduced a secret tax on utility bills and eliminated the secrecy around that program.

We passed a bill recognizing life at the sound of a heartbeat, and another to address Iowa's mental health system.

Iowans voted Republicans into the Senate majority for a reason. That reason, is to find solutions. And we did. The legislature passed, and the governor signed, bills to address the collapse of the individual health insurance market and the rising cost of premiums in Iowa. These pieces of legislation gave Iowans options for their health care so they can choose what is right for them and their family.

We proudly supported the governor's initiative to educate and expand Iowa's workforce. Future Ready Iowa aims for 70 percent of Iowans to have education or training beyond high school by 2025 and expand opportunities for apprenticeship and internship programs.

The state's unemployment rate is 2.8 percent, wage growth is in the top ten in the country, and US News and World Report ranked Iowa the #1 state in the country. It is a great time to be an Iowan.

I appreciate the discussions I have had with my constituents during my first two years as your senator. I look forward to hearing from you, the constituents on the effects these changes have had in the coming months, and seeing how I can be of service to you.

Thank you and God Bless the USA!



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