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Statehouse News

Dear Friends,

There are lots of events going on in Marshall County in the coming days. One of the places I review for events is the Marshalltown Chamber of Commerce website. You may access it by going to www.business.marshalltown.org.

This event caught my eye: The Marshalltown Men’s Chorus is offering Singing Valentines to be delivered on Friday, Feb 14. The Valentine includes two/three ‘sweetheart’ songs sung by a smartly dressed quartet, a Valentine card, and a long-stemmed silk rose. This is the annual Chorus fundraiser. Cost of the Valentine pkg is $25. To order please call Larry Pfantz at 641-753-7275 or contact any chorus member.

Please don’t tell my wife, in case I forget!

Happy Valentine’s Day and below are things happening at the Statehouse:

Low Funding Plan Leaves Schools Short

Iowans have always had great pride in our public schools. However, the state’s new investment in public schools has been the lowest in Iowa history over the last decade leading to the closure of 126 schools in Iowa. The low funding means public schools have been forced to increase class sizes and raise property taxes to make up for the shortfall in state funding.

This year, the majority party has offered another low school funding plan that will lead to more school closings, higher class sizes, and fewer opportunities for students. School leaders across the state have said the continued low funding isn’t keeping up with rising costs and hampers their ability to train the next generation of Iowa workers.

House Democrats are working on an alternative plan to invest $133 million more in public schools next year, which is a 3% increase. With that funding increase, Iowa can become the national leader in education again and continue to build Iowa’s skilled workforce.

Resources Available to Help Iowans File Their Taxes

State officials have created a “Filing Made Easy” website to help Iowans through the process of filing their state income taxes. Iowa Dept. of Revenue Director Kraig Paulson assured that continuing to improve the customer experience is a top priority for the Department of Revenue (DOR). The website explaining the process of filing your taxes can be found at https://refunds.tax.iowa.gov/.

There are also a variety of services available to help many Iowans file their state income taxes for free through the “eFile for Free” program. Many Iowans that earn less than $69,000 a year may qualify for free services to help file their taxes. Additional information on eFile can be found at https://tax.iowa.gov/individual-income-tax-electronic-filing-options.

The DOR has also improved the experience of customer interactions. Taxpayer specialists will be available for extended hours to assist customers during filing season. The front desk at the Department will also be open longer to accommodate walk-in customers. The phone system has been upgraded to include an automated service check on the status of your refund. Refunds can also still be tracked online at https://tax.iowa.gov/wheres-my-refund.

This year the DOR is going to process returns in the same time frame as the federal taxes are processed. Because of this, the state started processing returns on January 27th. The state has established a procedure to process returns in 30-45 days. Taxpayers are required to provide their federal return when filing their Iowa taxes. Iowa income taxes are due on April 30th.

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