GOP: Speaker Upmeyer’s Weekly Newsletter

February 29, 2016
By

UTGD

 

177,000 Iowa Taxpayers

With funnel week behind us, the House turned its attention to debate this week.  We spent many hours on the floor working through bills and getting them over to the Senate so they can go through the committee process and make their way to the Governor for his signature.

This week I’m disappointed that we still haven’t passed coupling to provide some certainty for our farmers, small businesses, families and many others.  We’ve coupled with the federal tax code each of the last five year, so this is something that taxpayers have come to expect, and at a time when the state’s economy is slowing, this really pulls the rug out from under folks when they’re already hurting.  Failure to couple is a tax increase on people who were not anticipating it.

The strange thing about this year is that the issue has become partisan.  Since House Republicans took the majority in 2011, there had not been a single “NO” vote on the annual coupling bill until this year.  This is something that Iowans just expected us to get done each year.

On Monday this week, House Republicans held a press conference where we brought forward a few concerned taxpayers and let them share their story of how a failure to pass coupling will affect them.  Here are a few of their stories:

Kathleen Riessen and her husband own two Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping gyms in the Des Moines metro area.  In 2013, her three sons got into martial arts and from there she decided to start some gyms that focus on the things her kids love to do.  After making numerous investments in new equipment and programs for her gyms that she won’t be able to deduct if coupling isn’t passed, Kathleen is looking at a tax bill of $16,000 that she wasn’t expecting.

Laura Cunningham is a young family farmer in Nora Springs, where she raises cattle with her husband.  She told us about how her family had to put off repairs to a grain dryer that caught fire in 2014, but wasn’t able to be replaced until 2015 because of delays from her insurance company.  Now, Laura and her husband are worried that they may have to write a $62,000 check to pay off taxes that they weren’t expecting.

Dan Rickels is a small family farmer, raising cattle and growing crops in Jones County on the east side of the state.   He bought a large piece of tillage equipment, to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, early in the year before the bottom fell out of the cattle market.  He told us that because cattle are currently selling for about $700 less per head compared to last spring, he’ll be forced to sell off grain, at a loss, to pay his tax bill if coupling isn’t passed.

Finally, Wendy Garton is a first grade teacher at Morris Elementary in the Bondurant-Farrar School District.  She spends hundreds of dollars of her own money each year on classroom supplies for her students.  She told us that while a $250 tax credit isn’t a huge tax incentive for her to take advantage of, it sends a message.  By allowing Wendy, and other teachers, to write off a portion of what they spend on their students, shows her that teachers are appreciated by the Legislature.

There are many others who have stories just like these.  I’ve heard about some people that will have to go out and get a loan to pay their tax bills this year.  You heard that right, they have to get a loan to pay their taxes.  The state has the resources to keep our word to taxpayers and also fund the priority needs of Iowans.

Our bill, House File 2092, would allow more than 177,000 Iowa taxpayers to keep their money in their own pockets.  When you break this down even further, you can see how this will impact many people in our communities.  In tax year 2014:

  • 33,000 farmers took an average deduction of $37,000 to pay for new equipment on the farms.
  • 41,000 small businesses and partnerships took an average deduction of $25,000 to pay for investments in their business.
  • 40,000 educators took an average deduction of $250 to pay for supplies in their classrooms.
  • 19,000 parents and students took an average deduction of $2,200 to pay for college tuition and textbooks.
  • 45,000 homeowners took an average deduction of $1,000 to pay for qualifying mortgage insurance on their homes.
  • Many others took a number of other deductions included with coupling.

I hope that the Senate is listening to Iowans, because they’re counting on us to resolve coupling soon so that they can file their taxes.

As always, please keep in touch.  As legislation is moving forward, feel free to send me comments, questions, or feedback that you may have regarding issues before us in the House. I can be reached at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or (515) 281-3521.

l

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GOP: Speaker Upmeyer’s Weekly Newsletter

February 29, 2016
By

UTGD

 

177,000 Iowa Taxpayers

With funnel week behind us, the House turned its attention to debate this week.  We spent many hours on the floor working through bills and getting them over to the Senate so they can go through the committee process and make their way to the Governor for his signature.

This week I’m disappointed that we still haven’t passed coupling to provide some certainty for our farmers, small businesses, families and many others.  We’ve coupled with the federal tax code each of the last five year, so this is something that taxpayers have come to expect, and at a time when the state’s economy is slowing, this really pulls the rug out from under folks when they’re already hurting.  Failure to couple is a tax increase on people who were not anticipating it.

The strange thing about this year is that the issue has become partisan.  Since House Republicans took the majority in 2011, there had not been a single “NO” vote on the annual coupling bill until this year.  This is something that Iowans just expected us to get done each year.

On Monday this week, House Republicans held a press conference where we brought forward a few concerned taxpayers and let them share their story of how a failure to pass coupling will affect them.  Here are a few of their stories:

Kathleen Riessen and her husband own two Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping gyms in the Des Moines metro area.  In 2013, her three sons got into martial arts and from there she decided to start some gyms that focus on the things her kids love to do.  After making numerous investments in new equipment and programs for her gyms that she won’t be able to deduct if coupling isn’t passed, Kathleen is looking at a tax bill of $16,000 that she wasn’t expecting.

Laura Cunningham is a young family farmer in Nora Springs, where she raises cattle with her husband.  She told us about how her family had to put off repairs to a grain dryer that caught fire in 2014, but wasn’t able to be replaced until 2015 because of delays from her insurance company.  Now, Laura and her husband are worried that they may have to write a $62,000 check to pay off taxes that they weren’t expecting.

Dan Rickels is a small family farmer, raising cattle and growing crops in Jones County on the east side of the state.   He bought a large piece of tillage equipment, to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, early in the year before the bottom fell out of the cattle market.  He told us that because cattle are currently selling for about $700 less per head compared to last spring, he’ll be forced to sell off grain, at a loss, to pay his tax bill if coupling isn’t passed.

Finally, Wendy Garton is a first grade teacher at Morris Elementary in the Bondurant-Farrar School District.  She spends hundreds of dollars of her own money each year on classroom supplies for her students.  She told us that while a $250 tax credit isn’t a huge tax incentive for her to take advantage of, it sends a message.  By allowing Wendy, and other teachers, to write off a portion of what they spend on their students, shows her that teachers are appreciated by the Legislature.

There are many others who have stories just like these.  I’ve heard about some people that will have to go out and get a loan to pay their tax bills this year.  You heard that right, they have to get a loan to pay their taxes.  The state has the resources to keep our word to taxpayers and also fund the priority needs of Iowans.

Our bill, House File 2092, would allow more than 177,000 Iowa taxpayers to keep their money in their own pockets.  When you break this down even further, you can see how this will impact many people in our communities.  In tax year 2014:

  • 33,000 farmers took an average deduction of $37,000 to pay for new equipment on the farms.
  • 41,000 small businesses and partnerships took an average deduction of $25,000 to pay for investments in their business.
  • 40,000 educators took an average deduction of $250 to pay for supplies in their classrooms.
  • 19,000 parents and students took an average deduction of $2,200 to pay for college tuition and textbooks.
  • 45,000 homeowners took an average deduction of $1,000 to pay for qualifying mortgage insurance on their homes.
  • Many others took a number of other deductions included with coupling.

I hope that the Senate is listening to Iowans, because they’re counting on us to resolve coupling soon so that they can file their taxes.

As always, please keep in touch.  As legislation is moving forward, feel free to send me comments, questions, or feedback that you may have regarding issues before us in the House. I can be reached at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or (515) 281-3521.

l

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