An eastern Iowa think tank says Iowa legislators should stop fretting about how much Iowans pay in taxes since it’s no more than the national average. An analysis by the Iowa Policy Project shows Iowans pay, on average, $2,765 a year in state and local taxes. Peter Fisher, research director for the Iowa Policy Project, says the data refutes claims that Iowa is a high tax state.Fisher says it doesn’t matter how you look at it, Iowa is in the middle of the pack when it comes to taxes. Iowa Policy Project executive director David Osterberg says the research shows Iowa is middle of the road when it comes to taxes, and Iowa’s economic development officials should be pointing that out.Osterberg says rather than worry about measuring Iowa’s tax system against other states, legislators should worry about whether taxes are fair, and whether low income Iowans are paying a greater share of their income toward taxes than wealthy Iowans are.Osterberg says Iowa has a very regressive tax system as wealthy people are paying a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than are poor Iowans. Osterberg favors raising state income taxes in order to reduce property taxes.
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