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Newscast 02.01.24: Iowa Republican lawmakers release new plan to gradually end state income tax; Siouxland airports get millions in federal funds to improve safey, efficiency

The Iowa House and Senate tax committees have released a plan that would eventually eliminate the state income tax.
Representative Bobby Kaufmann and Senator Dan Dawson respectively run those committees. They say under their new bill, Iowa’s public employee pension system would manage the taxpayer relief fund.
As that investment grows, the new money would be used to diminish Iowa’s income tax rate. It would be based on growth in sales tax revenue.
Kaufmann says they can get rid of the income tax without using one-time funds and without raising other taxes.
Dan Dawson says he thinks this is the best way to use the more than 3-billion dollars taxpayer relief fund. Their bill is very different from Governor Kim Reynolds’. She’s wants to speed up tax cuts to reach a flat 3-point-5 percent income tax next year.

The Iowa Legislature
The Iowa Legislature

Unauthorized immigrants would not qualify for in-state tuition under a bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee (HSB 2128).The bill would require the state’s public universities and community colleges to verify a student is a citizen or has legal immigration status in the U.S. before granting in-state tuition.

The Sioux Gateway Airport will receive more than a million dollars in federal funding for upkeep and the purchase of cold weather equipment. In fact, several Siouxland airports are about to receive federal dollars to modernize infrastructure.

U.S. Department of Transportation is administering the grants through its Airport Infrastructure Grants (AiG) program. The investment will be used to upgrade existing infrastructure, improve runway safety and airport efficiency, and to create local jobs.

The other Siouxland airports receiving federal funds include The Denison Municipal Airport, which is receiving $330,000 to construct a double-pump fuel facility, that should make the airport more self-sustaining.

The Estherville Municipal Airport is receiving $360,000 to perform repairs on the runway.

The Sioux County Regional Airport
The Sioux County Regional Airport

And the Sioux County Regional Airport is receiving over $123,000 to acquire nearly 24 acres next to the airport for future developments. 

After falling below growth neutral in November, the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index bounced above growth neutral for a second consecutive month. The Index, which ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, climbed to 50.9 from 50.3 in December. The employment gauge fell to its lowest level since June 2020.
Every state in the region, except South Dakota, reported January manufacturing job losses. The wholesale price gauge rose to a range indicating elevated inflationary pressures.

This Saturday, Sioux City Council members will take a look at the proposed FY 2025 Capital Improvement Program. The total CIP budget is more than $392 million dollars.

FY 2025 Propose CIP Expenditures for the City of Sioux City, from city budget documents
FY 2025 Propose CIP Expenditures for the City of Sioux City, from city budget documents

 Budget documents show the large budget increase is being driven by the sewer state revolving loan for the wastewater treatment plant project. Eighty-two percent of proposed CIP expenditures in the next fiscal year would be for sanitary sewer improvements.

City resources to pay those bills include General Obligation (G.O.) debt proceeds, which are repaid using property tax revenues, water and sewer utility funding, State Revolving Funds (SRF), which are loans the City repays over 20 years with water and sewer utility revenues, and other sources generated through City operations.


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