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Capitol Notebook: Sixth round of destination Iowa funding headed to cities
Also, new guidance on retirement tax exemption and new leadership positions in the state House and Senate
Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau
Dec. 5, 2022 5:18 pm
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced another round of Destination Iowa funding, granting nearly $14 million to two quality-of-life and tourism projects in Iowa.
The city of Davenport was awarded $9.6 million toward three projects, representing 40 percent of a total $193 million investment. The funds will go toward projects on Main Street Landing, an event and recreational riverfront plaza; lighting enhancements on the Davenport Skybridge; and lighting improvements at the Figge Museum.
The city of Clear Lake netted $4.37 million to develop the Clear Lake Surf District project. The money will go toward the expansion and relocation of Clear Lake’s Music Enrichment Center, gateway and streetscape improvements around and on Buddy Holly Place, and waterfront connections from the Surf Ballroom to the lake. The funding is 40 percent of the project’s $35.2 million total cost.
The grants are the sixth round of funding from Destination Iowa, a program devoted to attracting tourism and new residents to Iowa using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Revenue department gives guidance on retirement tax exemption
The Iowa Department of Revenue released new guidance on retirement income tax exemption that was passed into law earlier this year.
The change was paired with other income tax cuts in a sweeping package that aims for a 3.9 percent flat personal income tax by 2026.
According to the revenue department, Iowans must meet one of three requirements to be eligible for the exemption of tax on retirement income:
• 55 years of age or older on Dec. 31 of the tax year
• A surviving spouse or a survivor of a person who has qualified for the exclusion in the tax year
Income that qualifies for the exclusion includes government and other pension plans, individual retirement accounts, and other types of savings plans. The department said it was drafting more administrative rules to explain which plans qualify. Plans that qualify include:
• Distributions from individual retirement plans authorized under section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code
• Distributions from a simplified employee pension plan
• Distributions from a savings incentive match plan for employees retirement plan
• Distributions from a Keogh plan
• Distributions from qualified pension plans including IPERS
• Roth conversion income
• Distributions from qualified deferred compensation plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act including a 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plan;
• Annuity distributions pursuant to IRC section 402(a)
• Distributions from an Employee Stock Ownership Plan as defined in section 4975(e)(7) of the IRC
Iowa House and Senate Republicans fill leadership posts
Iowa House and Senate Republicans announced new assistant leaders and other top positions for their chambers on Monday.
In the House, Republican Reps. Jon Dunwell of Newton and Brent Siegrist of Council Bluffs, and Reps.-elect Craig Johnson of Independence and David Young of Van Meter were elected to be assistant majority leaders.
House Speaker Pat Grassley of New Hartford and Majority Leader Matt Windschitl of Missouri Valley, both Republicans, were re-elected to their posts last month.
In the Senate, Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, was re-elected president pro tempore and Waylon Brown, R-Osage, was elected majority whip. Republican Sens. Chris Cournoyer of LeClaire, Carrie Koelker of Dyersville, Mike Klimesh of Spillville, and Jeff Reichman of Montrose were elected assistant majority leaders.
In an election last month, Sen. Jack Whitver of Grimes was re-elected as Senate majority leader and Sen. Amy Sinclair of Allerton was elected Senate president.
Auditor warns of phone scam
Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand warned Iowans on Monday of a potential phone scam in which a caller impersonates the Iowa State Auditor’s Office.
In a news release, Sand’s office said a person notified the office on Nov. 30 about a phone call inquiring about their mortgage, saying the caller knew the person’s name, address and height.
“The Auditor of State Office will never call you to inquire about your mortgage or personal finances,” said Sand. “We have alerted the Iowa Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division.”
Reynolds appoints district judge
Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Elizabeth Batey as a district associate judge in Judicial Election District 2A, she announced Friday.
Batey is a magistrate for Butler County and practices law with the Vickers Law Office in Greene, Iowa.