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The Iowa Legislature put us on a road to a flat income tax. What you need to know about tax changes.

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a major change to Iowa's tax laws into effect. Hear from legislative leaders and experts on just what this will mean for your wallet.

The only constants in life are death and taxes. Though in Iowa, the tax code has seen its fair share of changes over the decades. This year is the biggest change yet.

In 1934, Iowa adopted its first personal and corporate income taxes. Since then, returns have been comparatively complicated as the state allowed the deduction of federal taxes. And they've been considered "progressive," meaning wealthier Iowans were taxed at a higher rate than poorer filers.

On this episode of River to River, co-hosts Ben Kieffer and Katarina Sostaric talk through a bill Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law last week that would tax all Iowans at the same percentage rate once fully enacted. We hear from legislative leaders about why they supported or opposed it.

Then, Kristin Myers of The Balancejoins to talk about how Iowa's tax changes stack up among tax cut trends in other states and whether cutting state income taxes will impact Iowa's brain drain problem. And Nick Roby of Drake University also uses his decades of tax filing expertise to put this change in perspective and explain how it fits into Iowa's trend towards less complicated, less progressive taxation.


  • Katarina Sostaric, IPR's statehouse reporter
  • Sen. Dan Dawson, Republican representing the Council Bluffs area; chair of the Iowa Senate Ways and Means committee
  • Sen. Pam Jochum, Democrat representing the Dubuque area; ranking member of the Iowa Senate Ways and Means committee
  • Nick Roby, director of the Entrepreneurial/Transactional Clinic at Drake University
  • Kristin Myers, editor-in-chief of The Balance, an economics and finance website
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa