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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 27, 2017

On the Hill with Klein, Week 3

By Jarad Klein

Week three was a busy one with the main focus being education funding and the beginning of those negotiations.  After a long Tuesday night debate, we passed the first round of state education funding floor at 1.25 percent.  The rest of the week was filled with committee meetings, subcommittee meetings, and we also had our first floor debate.  This coming week will include more debate and many more bills being passed out of subcommittees.
On Tuesday, Jan. 27, following completion of the House Agriculture Committee meeting an empaneled subcommittee charged by House Agriculture Chair Grassley to review regulations applying to agriculture officially convened for the first time.  The subcommittee of myself and Representatives Paustian and Bearinger, hase been tasked to collect stakeholder and public input on regulations.  Our goal is identify and remedy excessive regulations that are no longer effective due to technological or farming improvements or ineffective because of multiple agency oversight.
For example, we were told how the poultry industry is being frustrated by regulations that apply to transporting baled and bedding materials but generally don’t apply if the bales are wrapped in plastic, which is done in the situation of transporting wood chips to both limit losses in transportation and to ease loading and unloading of the product.  
The subcommittee solicited the public in attendance of the meeting to come forward with concerns and thoughts on this issue.  More broadly, we hope that farmers, agribusinesses and the general public will take advantage of this opportunity to provide public input on the assorted regulations applicable to farming and agribusiness that either need updating to reflect new technology or perhaps rescinding if the justification for the regulation has dissipated or have been superseded by new concerns and circumstances.  The intent of the Regulatory Review Subcommittee is that it will continue to collect input on this issue over the next several weeks and will likely hold two more official meeting on this matter to digest and discuss whether some type of legislative action should be taken to redress the changing regulatory environment.   I will keep you informed as we near having a final bill drafted.
On the side of taxes, House Study Bill 67 passed the House Ways and Means Committee this week by a vote of 25-0.  The bill updates Iowa law to conform with certain tax provisions Congress finally enacted in December for tax year 2014.
The bill updates the provisions in the Iowa Code for the Iowa research activities credit to include revisions in the federal research credit (the basis for the Iowa credit). The federal research credit was extended for the 2014 tax year in the Tax Increase Prevention Act.
House Study Bill 67 also updates the Iowa income tax code to couple with the 2014 federal changes (with the exception of bonus depreciation). The more significant federal tax changes that this bill couples with include:
• deduction of up to $250 for out-of-pocket expenses for teachers
•    tuition and fees deduction for higher education expenses
•     election to deduct state sales/use tax in lieu of state income tax as an itemized deduction
• deduction for mortgage insurance premiums as deductible qualified residence interest
• nontaxable IRA transfers to eligible charities
• small businesses can now expense (instead of depreciate) the first $500,000 of equipment cost (known as Section 179 expensing)
The bill does not couple with the federal provision for 50 percent bonus depreciation for both individual and corporate income tax for assets acquired in 2014. This is the same stance that has been taken since 2008. The bill will now move to the floor for further consideration.
You can call or text me anytime on my cell at 515-689-5430.  My e-mail address is jarad.klein@legis.iowa.gov; when you e-mail please include your name and address so I know if you are a constituent.  I do get a lot of spam and mail from people all over the country, but the people of House District 78 always come first.