House Speaker Says Tax Cuts Still Possible; Rural Economy Surges

Mar 18, 2021

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley (R)

Vaccinations continue in Iowa as the Iowa Department of Public Health reports another nine COVID-19 deaths and an additional 404 confirmed cases today. In Woodbury County, there have been 25 new cases added to the total count in the last 24 hours. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced yesterday that all adult Iowans will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination starting April 5. During her weekly news conference, the governor said so long as vaccine supplies from the federal government keep up with demand, she expects all Iowans to be eligible for the vaccine. 

A state panel meets tomorrow to set official estimates of state tax revenue. Strong projections could lead House Republicans to accept the Iowa Senate’s plan to go forward with state income tax cuts. But in conference call with reporters this morning, House Speaker Pat Grassley said that a 2018 law includes a benchmark that state tax collections must grow by at least 4% before the tax cuts are triggered to kick in. If Governor Kim Reynolds removes that benchmark, a series of promised income tax cuts automatically take effect in 2023. 

The economy in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states appears to be on record pace, according to a monthly survey of bankers released today.  The overall index reached its highest reading since the survey began in 2006. The overall index of the Rural Mainstreet Survey shot up more than 18 points to 71.9 in March from February’s 53.8. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 suggests a shrinking economy.