AMES, Iowa — An Iowa State University economist and researcher says that a proposed 4% flat tax by Governor Kim Reynolds would go away from a long tradition of progressive tax in Iowa.
“A flat tax right off the bat is not a progressive tax that means, it violates what we consider our rules with regard to tax equity, vertical equity,” said David Swenson, a researcher and economist at Iowa State University.
Swenson challenged the idea put forward by the Governor that the flat tax would be fair.
“We assume that those with a greater ability to pay, will pay a bigger share of the tax burden so that’s what a progressive tax is, a lower rate on taxable income for low-income people, middle rate on taxable income from middle-income people, and a higher rate for people who are much more wealthier,” said Swenson.
Swenson said the idea for the flat tax did surprise him.
“This is somewhat of a wild card that nobody has really been talking about implementing a flat tax in Iowa,” said Swenson. “This is just not something that has been discussed seriously and the fact that this recommendation of this in an election year tells me that very well may not be as serious proposal that it may be because it’s an election year.”