Part 1: Gov. Reynolds defends 4% flat income tax proposal

Tax cuts are a top priority for Iowa’s Republican lawmakers this legislative session.

During Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Condition of the State address last Tuesday, she proposed a plan to move to a 4% flat income tax phased in over four years. At 4%, Iowa’s rate would be fifth lowest among all states that charge income tax. It is projected to save Iowa taxpayers more than $1.58 billion by tax year 2026, according to the governor’s office.

Right now, there are four tax brackets for personal income tax. By 2026, Reynolds wants just one with a 4% tax rate. Iowans making $75,000 or more per year would see their taxes drop the most from 6.5% to the flat 4% rate. Iowans making $30,000 or less would see the smallest decline. Because of this, an Iowa State University economist said the flat tax rate would favor wealthy Iowans the most.

“[Reynolds] said that [her proposal] is ‘flat and fair.’ No, a flat tax is not considered fair if we think in terms of tax equity. A flat tax is just simply flat. It says that the poorest among us must pay the same tax rate as a burden of their income as the richest among us,” said David Swenson, an economist at Iowa State University.

Reynolds sat down one-on-one with WHO 13’s Dave Price. Here’s how she defended the flat tax proposal.

Part 2: Gov. Reynolds addresses the rising number of hospitalized Iowans with COVID-19

The number of Iowans who are hospitalized with the coronavirus is the highest it’s been since December 2020. As of Friday, 998 people are in Iowa hospitals with COVID-19, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Those not fully vaccinated account for 77% of the COVID-19 patients being treated in intensive care units, according to state data.

Gov. Reynolds addressed the increase.

Part 3: Should tax cuts be a top priority?

Two Iowa lawmakers are serving their final year in the Iowa Legislature as they focus on running for Congress. Republican Zach Nunn is running in the 3rd Congressional District Republican primary, and Democrat Liz Mathis is running in the 2nd Congressional District.

Nunn and Mathis disagree on whether tax cuts should be a priority right now.

Insiders Quick 6: Gov. Kim Reynolds

Gov. Reynolds returns for the Insiders Quick 6.

Watch previous episodes of The Insiders here.