New Tax Plan Shifts Mental Health Funding in Iowa

Politics

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Lengthy debate has delayed the 2021 legislative session in Iowa, but lawmakers have finally passed a sweeping tax deal.

The proposal shifts funding for mental health services in Iowa from property taxes to the state’s general fund. This is a $90 million change that would take place over two years. If the governor signs it, property owners would start seeing the tax reduction in July when the law takes effect. The plan would expire in 2026, which makes mental health workers a little nervous.

“My biggest concern is that we don’t have a long-term solution,” said Darci Alt, CEO and mental health director at Heart of Iowa Region. “In a perfect world, we would know how it was going to be funded in perpetuity and we would know where the funding was going to be coming from after that point.”

The bill also eliminates the state inheritance tax and speeds up the triggers to cut income taxes.

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