Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds highlighted her support for legislation to provide secure, long-term and dedicated state funding for water quality and conservation and for tax reform during her first Condition of the State address last week. Both water quality funding and tax reform are key Farm Bureau issues for the 2018 legislative session.

“Improving water quality is a shared goal of Iowans. Urban and rural stakeholders have worked collaboratively, making great strides,” Reynolds said. “My hope is that a water quality bill is the first piece of legislation I sign as governor.”

To continue the momentum Iowa farmers are making on improving water quality and conserving the state’s valuable topsoil, Farm Bureau is working with Reynolds and other lawmakers to secure long-term, dedicated state funding. Farm Bureau, along with Reynolds, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and almost every statewide farm organization, supports a bill call­ed Senate File 512.

That bill would advance the science-based research and watershed projects outlined in the state’s water quality initiative, promote and incentivize watershed collaboration, establish accountability as progress is made on water quality improvements and expand opportunities for communities to collaborate on watershed projects.

A focus on taxes

In her Jan. 9 address at the Iowa Statehouse, Reynolds also stressed the need to reform the state’s tax code.

“I will be proposing a tax reform package that significantly reduces rates, modernizes our tax code, eliminates federal deductibility and provides real tax relief for middle class families, farmers and small businesses,” she said. “This is an opportunity to free us from decisions made in Washington, D.C., and simplify our tax code. And more important, Iowans will keep more of their hard-earned money.”

During the debate over tax reform, Farm Bureau will work with legislators to help ensure that tax reform legislation will protect the benefits of federal deductibility and will also include coupling with the federal tax code for Section 179 asset expensing.