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February 5, 2016  |  Week 4 Summary

Slow Week at the Capitol.

Due to a number of different events this week, there was very little time spent on legislative priorities this week. The caucuses on Monday and the snowstorm on Tuesday delayed any work until Wednesday. The death of former State Senator Hancock prompted early adjournment of the Senate on Thursday so folks could attend his visitation on Thursday night. So this week's update will be very brief. 

Updates from the Capital.

Coupling Bill Status
Yesterday, a new coupling bill was introduced in the Iowa Senate. The new bill, Senate Study Bill 3107, is the Iowa Department of Revenue's version of the coupling bill. It is substantially different than the coupling bill passed by the House, House File 2092. The Department of Revenue's bill does the following:

For tax year 2015, the bill:
  • Couples fully with federal law only for purposes of the research activities tax credit (Iowa Code sections 15.335, 422.10, and 422.33).
  • Does not couple with any other changes made to federal tax laws during 2015. Thus, for tax year 2015, Iowa tax law will follow the Internal Revenue Code as of January 1, 2015 (except for the research activities credit, as noted above).
For tax year 2016 and later, the bill couples with all of federal tax law as of January 1, 2016 (including all changes made in December 2015), with two big exceptions:
  • The bill completely decouples Iowa law from the federal bonus depreciation (Iowa Code sections 422.7(39A) and 422.35(19A)). This continues Iowa's current law, which does not recognize the federal bonus depreciation.
  • The bill decouples from the December 2015 changes made to IRC section 179 expensing. This means that Iowa tax law will require using the older version of section 179 expensing that was in effect on January 1, 2015. Source: Society of Iowa CPAs

The House Agriculture Committee introduced HSB519 which extends the expiration date of four biofuel tax programs from January 1st, 2018, to January 1st, 2025, including three income tax credits, one sales, and uses tax refund.  

The bill increases the designated tax credit rate for the sale of biodiesel blended fuel classified as B-11 or higher from 4.5 to 7 cents per gallon, retroactively applicable to tax years beginning on or after January 1st, 2016. The E-15 plus gasoline promotion tax credit requires an ethanol content of between 15 and 69 percent per gallon and the designated rate equals 3 cents, except between June 1st and September 15th , when the designated rate increases to 10 cents. 

The E-85 gasoline promotion tax credit requires an ethanol content of between 70 and 85 percent per gallon and the designated rate equals 16 cents.

The biodiesel blended fuel tax credit requires a biodiesel content of at least 5 percent per gallon (B-5) and the designated rate equals 4.5 cents. Some lawmakers from both sides of the aisles believe if Iowa is going to be the renewable fuel capitol of the world, then we need to promote its use in the state.

Fireworks legislation and school funding dominated committee meetings during this short week of work and in both of these scenarios, both sides are still very far apart so the discussions will continue. 

2016 Iowa Caucus.
Associated Press Results.

An estimated 357,000 Iowans packed their local voter precincts this past Monday to take part in the 2016 Iowa Caucus.  Results reflect Ted Cruz scoring a convincing win on the Republican Party side, while Hillary Clinton barely claiming victory on the Democratic Party side.  No matter what party you represent, you should be proud of the turnout by Iowa voters.  Below are a couple graphics from the Wall Street Journal to show a variety of items:  Votes by Candidate, Votes by County & Entrance Polls.  Click on the images to be taken to a more interactive website to show you specific statistics.
SOURCE:  WSJ News Graphics
SOURCE:  WSJ News Graphics

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