The Iowa Chamber Alliance works hard to maintain relationships with policymakers and other stakeholders to achieve success in our policy priorities. Below are priorities that ICA has registered in support of and worked with the governor and legislators as they passed these important policy priorities.
2022 Legislative Priority Successes
The legislature approved a comprehensive tax reform policy that built on the 2018 tax reform. House File 2317 included the following provisions:
- Flat personal income tax rate of 3.9% by Tax Year 2026.
- Elimination of the tax on retirement income in Tax Year 2023.
- Removal of the tax on capital gains upon the sale of stock related to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
- Phased-in corporate tax rate to 5.5% percent from the current 9.8% as annual net receipts to the Iowa General Fund exceed $700 million annually.
- No elimination of the S-Corp Apportionment Tax Credit.
- Under the Research Activities Credit (RAC), supplies and computer use expenses are phased out as qualifying expenses as part of the credit calculation.
- Refundability for RAC is phased down to 50% in 5 years.
After all provisions are fully implemented, the legislation will move Iowa from a 46th overall ranking to 15th overall on the State Business Tax Climate Index.
House Files 2198, 2127, and 2252 passed the Legislature and were signed by the Governor. The new legislation aimed to increase childcare providers and availability across the state. The Iowa Chamber Alliance recognized the need to continue to find childcare solutions to allow parents to reenter the workforce following the pandemic and registered in support of all three bills. Combined the legislation established new child-to-staff ratios in child care centers, allowed for 16-year-olds to work without additional supervision, allowed childcare centers to collect the difference between CCA rates and private pay rates from families, and expanded CA eligibility to parents with permanent disabilities.
The 2022 workforce omnibus bill, Senate File 2383 was approved with bi-partisan support to attract and retain talent to the state. The legislation expanded work-based learning programs, streamlined city and county inspections of manufactured homes, eliminated fees for veterans, and provided additional resources for the recruitment of healthcare workers.
The Iowa Chamber Alliance made talent the top legislative priority in 2022 with placemaking a key component of our push for talent attraction. During Governor Reynolds' Condition of the State Address, she highlighted the need for placemaking initiatives to attract and retain workers to Iowa. In April Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority announced a new program called Destination Iowa. The program will provide grants to help communities fund quality of life and tourism projects through four funding programs: economically significant development, outdoor recreation, tourism attraction, creative placemaking.
2021 Legislative Priority Successes
The Iowa Chamber Alliance supported House File 848, a bill that invested $100 million in broadband infrastructure through a tiered grant system. Governor Reynolds furthered the investment by allocating an additional $200 million in COVID-19 relief funds towards the grant program.
The Iowa Legislature and Governor Reynolds passed legislation largely supported by the business community that removed the 2018 tax reform triggers. The proposal also provided additional COVID-19 relief for businesses, eliminated inheritance tax, and phased out the property tax backfill by transitioning mental health funding to the state.
Governor Reynolds introduced a large housing omnibus bill in 2021 supported by the Iowa Chamber Alliance. Portions of the bill were included in the final tax omnibus bill, including: addressing the workforce housing tax credit backlog, extension of the redevelopment tax credit, and raising the cap on the Housing Trust Fund.
Paycheck Protection Program
In an effort to streamline and simplify Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, the legislature approved a bill to conform state and federal tax laws regarding the treatment of forgiveness of PPP loans. The bill also excluded Iowa COVD-19 grants from individual and corporate income taxes.
The Iowa Chamber Alliance views childcare as a workforce issue, and supported legislation to expand childcare access across the state to attract and retain talent. The House and Senate approved a number of childcare initiatives aimed towards increasing the number of childcare providers, providing tax incentives for businesses offering childcare, and legislation to eliminate the childcare cliff effect preventing parents from taking new jobs.
2020 Legislative Priority Successes
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ABI spearheaded a COVID-19 Liability Protections bill to provide certainty against risk for recovering businesses. The ICA provided support to the effort that would provide personal protective equipment product liability protections, liability protections to healthcare providers, and businesses liability protectors regarding exposure claims.
Future Ready Iowa
Governor Reynold’s Future Ready Iowa legislation passed both chambers with bipartisan support in 2020. The legislation created the Expanded Registered Apprenticeship Opportunities Program, the Childcare Challenge Program, and provided matching grants to employers who create childcare facilities. Additionally, the bill expanded the Last-Dollar Scholarship Program to more applicants and expands computer science education in K-12.
In the final days of session, the House and Senate passed historic justice reform legislation that banned the use of chokeholds by police officers in most situations and allowed the Attorney General to investigate the police force when needed. The bill was introduced, passed unanimously in both chambers, and sent to the Governor for her signature in a single day.