DES MOINES— The Committee on Accountable Government of the Iowa Taxpayers Association has completed a review of the Iowa Legislature’s 2019 budgeting process and final budget for FY 2020. The ITA committee created what is known as the ITA Principles for Sound Budgeting in 2001. These principles serve as a tool used by the governor and General Assembly to accomplish more accountability in state budgeting. The annual review analyzes how the Legislature conformed with ITA’s eight Principles for Sound Budgeting:
Avoid the use of one-time or time-limited sources for ongoing expenses.
Avoid implementing new programs for a partial fiscal year.
Avoid multiyear accelerating commitments.
Avoid new automatic, or “standing,” appropriations.
Accurately determine revenue and expenses.
Align expenses and revenue in the same fiscal year.
Avoid shifting program funding to property taxes or fees.
Avoid diversion of funds statutorily authorized for a specific objective to other purposes.
The committee commends the governor and Iowa Legislature for largely following ITA’s Principles for Sound Budgeting in completing the 2020 budget. The cash reserve fund and the economic emergency fund are both at their statutory limits. The balance of the Taxpayers Relief fund has been increased, also. If present revenue projections hold true, the fiscal year will end with a healthy surplus. There are some looming factors that may have a negative impact on Iowa’s general fund revenue in the next couple of years. ITA recommends the continuation of conservative spending and the importance of following ITA’s Sound Budgeting Principles. The committee believes the areas of most concern for the 2020 budget are as follows: uncertain impacts to the farm economy based on lingering trade talks, additional tariffs and global reactions, overreaction from markets, weather-related lower crop yields, can all have a negative effect on Iowa’s economy.
The Iowa Taxpayers Association is a business-sponsored tax policy organization founded in 1935. The ITA mission is to educate and inform Iowans about sound fiscal policy; provide state policymakers with objective, nonpartisan research about the impact of specific tax and spending policies; and advocate for the adoption of rational public fiscal policy as it relates to business taxes.