Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Letters to the Editor

March 26, 2013

RIZ and taxes

CENTERVILLE — You win some, you lose some and some are just delayed. Last Tuesday the House Leadership decided not to allow the Rural Improvement Zone legislation to be debated on the floor this session.  

In brief, the bill allowed your Board of Supervisors (your most local representatives) to decide every seven years on the RIZ continuation. Without these restrictions, I believe the current law violates the concept of “No taxation without representation.”

I was further disappointed because I truly believed it would have passed both House and Senate.  RIZ bill “to be continued…”

Since the first week of the 2013 session, the House has been working on ways to leave more money in Iowans’ pocketbooks. The House recognizes now is the time for serious, meaningful tax relief. While we’re still focused on property tax relief and other reductions in taxes, House File 478, reducing Iowans’ income taxes, passed last week as amended, 53-46.

House File 478: Gives Iowans a choice when paying their income taxes, either the current system or a 4.5 percent flat tax with zero deductions or credits. Raises the filing threshold so that the first $6,235 (or $12,450 for married couple) would not be taxed.   Makes Iowa’s tax system simpler, flatter, and fairer.

The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency predicts that House File 478 would reduce the overall tax burden on Iowans by $400 million. The greatest number of taxpayers benefiting from this flat tax option falls in the $30,000 to $40,000 bracket. For all filers, those who elect this option would save about $800 on average.

An amendment to HF 478 sets in place a permanent mechanism to return any overpayment of taxes back to Iowans. Once the legislature and the governor set budget priorities and reserve funds are full, the taxpayer trust fund collects anything leftover.  This bill sends any leftover money back to the taxpayer through a credit on their tax forms. This isn’t a rebate but instead reduces your tax liability.  Now it’s up to the Senate to pass it.

Gov. Terry Branstad recently unveiled the Healthy Iowa Plan as an alternative to an expanded Medicaid program. The Healthy Iowa Plan would ensure coverage for all Iowans living under the poverty line.  

Coverage: The Healthy Iowa Plan replaces the expiring IowaCare program that currently provides coverage on a limited basis to about 67,000 low-income Iowans. Roughly 89,000 uninsured Iowans earning below 100 percent Federal Poverty Line gain access to care.

Personal Responsibility Measures: The program requires participants to contribute to the program on a sliding scale based on their income.  Participant contributions could be as little as $5 per month.

Cost: The program draws on federal dollars for its financing.  In the first year, the program would cost an estimated $162 million.  

For the plan to proceed, the governor has to get a Medicaid waiver from Washington, D.C. The legislature will also be tasked with passing a Healthy Iowa Plan policy bill through the House and Senate before the end of the 2013 session.

Don’t hesitate to contact Sheets with questions or concerns at or (641) 895-6153.

Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Farmers engaged in Iowa water quality initiative Many Iowa farm fields are turning green earlier than normal this spring as a rapidly growing number of farmers are using cover crops to help better protect the soil and water they depend on to make their living. Farmers are always looking for new and

    April 17, 2014

  • Raising permit fees will harm city Dear Editor, Surcharges, fees, franchise fees, (3 percent on Alliant bills -- council voted 5-0 on 04/10/14), special assessments, $5 million bonding (which will raise property taxes), and now city's attempts at increasing permit fees for landlords f

    April 17, 2014

  • What do you think about rental permit fees? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page. The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order t

    April 17, 2014

  • The talk radio party? So what does the Tea Party want this fall? A repeat of 2010, or a repeat of 2012? The Tea Party succeeded spectacularly in 2010. Its principled enthusiasm put Republicans back in charge of the House of Representatives and, if the Tea Party hadn't bee

    April 17, 2014

  • State Sen. Ken Rozenboom Newsletter Traditionally, voting on the department budget bills signals the end of a legislative session. The budget process lasts through much of the session. This year, the process was tweaked to move things along faster than in past sessions. House Republica

    April 15, 2014

  • Make Centerville, Iowa your home Centerville, "America's hometown." Centerville, "Home of the world's largest square." Centerville, "You can't describe it, you just have to go there." Centerville, "Welcome home." These are just a few of the brands depicting Centerville that have bee

    April 15, 2014

  • April is National Community College Month Buy someone a cup of coffee. Read to a child or an older adult. Volunteer at a local hospital. Play games with or offer services to senior citizens. Walk dogs at Heartland Humane Society. Assist neighbors with yard work or spring cleaning. Volunteer

    April 15, 2014

  • Former resident applauds mayors Dear Editor, Recently, I read the March 30 Daily Iowegian story “Area mayors combat sexual assault.” I want to applaud the mayors of these local towns for signing proclamations to battle sexual assault, especially those in Centerville, Moravia and Ra

    April 10, 2014

  • Main Street in Centerville Dear Editor, Organizing for Main Street has been asked, "Why do we need another group?" Main Street is not only committed to the revitalization of downtown districts, but is also focused on the long-term sustainment of the heart of a community's comm

    April 10, 2014

  • What do you think about food prices? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page. The Iowegian wants readers to think about food prices. Are you paying more than you were last year for certain food items? According to a survey by the American Fa

    April 10, 2014

  • U.S. in dire straits U.S. in dire straits Dear Editor, Our country is in dire straits with President Obama and his agenda to transform the United States into a socialist nanny state which is being promoted by the liberal media. The left wing bias that dominates Big Medi

    April 8, 2014

  • Sheets Snapshot: Hurry up and wait Dear friends, This is a season of hurry up and wait. The House passes a large list of bills and then must wait on the Senate to do their work. HF475 bill allows any peace officer in the state the power to request a warrant for a GPS bug. I stood up a

    April 8, 2014

  • State Sen. Ken Rozenboom Newsletter We have just completed the 12th week of the legislative session. It's disappointing to me that we seem to have gotten off track with finishing up the work we have to do. Our colleagues in the Senate majority appear to be far more interested in scorin

    April 8, 2014

  • Q&A: Environmental Protection Agency have jurisdiction on waterways? Q: Does the Environmental Protection Agency have jurisdiction over waterways on Iowa farms? A: Congress writes environmental laws to set in place policies that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land in which our food grows. The e

    April 3, 2014

  • Secret settlements? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page. The Iowegian wants readers to think about the Des Moines Register's recent reporting that state agencies were paying secret settlements for fired workers. "More th

    April 3, 2014

Featured Ads

The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order to get a feel for the public's appetite about raising rental permit fees from charging a landlord $25 every two years to charging a certain amount per rental unit per year. So, the question of the week is, "Are you in favor of Centerville increasing rental permit fees?"

A. I'm in favor.
B. I'm not in favor.
C. I'm not sure.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook