Holly Brink Update From the House for District 80 – April 11, 2019

Holly Brink (District 80) signs her Oath of Office on Monday, January 14, 2019.

Holly Brink (District 80) signs her Oath of Office on Monday, January 14, 2019.

by Rep. Holly Brink

Hello Friends,

This week the Appropriations and Ways & Means committees have continued to meet to discuss the most vital part of this session’s legislation: the state budget. With so much going on, I wanted to point out some bills that I believe are crucial to District 80 and will provide numerous opportunities in our economy.

Last Thursday, the House Ways & Means Committee passed House File 647 (now HF 768) by a unanimous vote. The bill is currently awaiting full consideration by the House in the final days of session.

HF 768 restructures/reinstates the beginning farmer tax credit program that was originally created in 2007 The program has since then been amended in 2013 with provisions that included automatic sunset of some provisions and was further modified in 2014 with provisions that it would automatically repeal on January 1, 2018. This current legislation reinstates a restructured form of the ag asset transfer tax credits program, but renames it the ‘Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program’ though it does not re-establish the custom farming contract tax credits that expired on January 1, 2018. HF 768 modifies and codifies certain beginning farmer program eligibility criteria that:

• allows an aggregate maximum aggregate net worth of multiple family member beginning farmer entities to twice the low or moderate net worth (but still retains the maximum low to moderate net worth for each specific person that is part of the entity);
• requires eligible taxpayer landowners (the beginning farmer tax credit beneficiaries) not to have been at fault for terminating a prior agreement with a beginning farmer in which the taxpayer was able to claim a tax credit;
• restricts to $50,000 of beginning farmer tax credits per year that any taxpayer can claim;
• details the specific of ‘risk-sharing arrangements’ that must be met to qualify for the 15% tax credit rate share-rent agreements;
• Specifies in Code how the tax credit amount is to be calculated; and
• limits issuance of beginning farmer tax credits to no more than $12- million per year.

The bill changes how the application fee that IFA may charge from the current $300 limit regardless of size and length of agricultural lease agreement and replaces it with sliding assessment that application fees will be:

• $300 for lease of up to 100 acres,
• $400 for > 100 acres but not more than 250-acres,
• $500 for leases more than 250-acres.

The measure then repeals these Code specified fees on January 1, 2022 and replaces it with language specifying the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) calculate the level of fees needed to administer the program and use the administrative rules process to establish the fees that will be charged with applications. A fiscal note projects that the bill will decrease general fund revenues by $400,000 in FY 2020, $1.4-million in FY 2021; $2.5-million in FY 2022; $3-million in FY 2023; $3.3-million in FY 2024; $3.4-million in FY 2025; $3.6-million in FY 2026; and $3.8-million in FY 2027 and thereafter. The measure will also reduce statewide local sales tax option collection by $100,000 starting in FY 2022.

If you’d like to learn more about this bill, click here to view Gov. Reynold’s full news release.

Another bill of interest passed this week: House File 227—a bill that doubles the income limitation for the Iowa child and dependent care tax credit. This is a credit that supports working Iowa families who spend large portions of their paychecks on childcare.

Currently, the federal tax code provides a Child and Dependent Care Credit, equal to 20 percent to 35 percent of qualified expenditures, paid to care providers for a child under the age of 13 and for certain other dependents of the taxpayer. Qualified expenditures are limited to $3,000 per year for one qualified dependent or $6,000 for two or more qualified dependents. The federal tax credit does not have an upper-income limit. Iowa provides its own tax credit as a percentage of the amount of the federal credit. The Iowa tax credit is allowed on a sliding scale, based on the taxpayer’s net income. The Iowa tax credit amount ranges from 75 percent of the federal credit for net income of less than $10,000, to 30 percent for taxpayers with net income of $40,000 to $44,999. Currently, there is no Iowa child care tax credit available for net income of $45,000 or higher.

House File 227 doubles the Iowa income limit and makes the credit available to taxpayers with net incomes of less than $90,000. The legislation does not change the income-based percent ranges—so all taxpayers with income over $40,000 will receive a credit of 30 percent of the federal credit.

House File 227 makes the change apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. The legislation would have a state fiscal impact of -$5.4 million in fiscal year 2020. The bill is now ready for further consideration on the House floor.

Finally, House File 766, the Health and Human Services Budget for FY2020, passed the House on Thursday. This appropriates a total of $1.94 billion from the state general fund to the Department on Aging, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Iowa Veterans Home. When combined with federal block grants, federal matching funds, and other revenue sources, the HHS budget tops $5 billion to fund human services in the state for the next fiscal year.

Importantly, this budget provides significant funding for mental health including an additional $1.2 million in state funding and total $3.1 million in funding next year to eliminate the waiting list for the children’s mental health home and community-based services waiver. There are currently around 1,000 children on this waiting list, and this appropriation will allow these children and their families to receive much-needed services close to home.

Additionally, this bill funds the single statewide 24-hour crisis hotline for all ages and funds our current and soon to be 22 Assertive Community Treatment teams statewide. This funding amounts to about $2.8 million that is currently being subsidized by the 14 Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Regions. This budget also addresses Polk County MHDS Region by allowing the county to transfer funds from other areas for one year, and provides a $5.2 million increase to Medicaid to pay for the additional mental health services passed last year, like Access Centers and Intensive Residential Service Homes, in the Mental Health Complex Needs Act (HF2456).

This budget also focuses on mental health workforce by funding 4 additional psychiatric residencies in rural communities and increases psychiatric training for physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

These increases are in addition to the status quo appropriation of $96 million to Iowa Medicaid for children’s mental health services, $1.4 million towards children’s systems of care, $2 million towards the Medical Residency Training State Matching Grants Program which has funded 8 new psychiatric medical residency slots in central Iowa, and continues the appropriation to Des Moines University to partner with NAMI to prepare family physicians and other medical providers to help those suffering from mental illness. There are also additional funds appropriated through the federal community mental health block grant, Iowa Medicaid, and Public Health for substance abuse, 1st Five, home visitation, and other mental health prevention work for Iowa children, to name a few.

These are just a few of all the bills passed through the House this week. Haven we have taken our time this session to identify where taxpayer dollars would have the greatest impact on our constituents. I know that these policies will benefit District 80 and the people of Iowa.

Though we have already made some great strides, we still have three weeks to go. If you have any questions or concerns about current legislation in the Iowa House, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Holly Brink
State Representative, Iowa District 80
(641)295-7111
Holly.brink@legis.iowa.gov

Posted by on Apr 12 2019. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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