Republicans in the Iowa Senate today (Tuesday) tossed out a big idea — erasing state income taxes for Iowans under the age of 30 to entice young people to stay in Iowa. Would it work? Reaction from the under 30 crowd is mixed. Nineteen-year-old Jill Hamilton of Des Moines, a student at Iowa State University, says it probably won’t factor into her decision about where to live after college. “I’m actually an engineering major, so I will most likely not want to live in Iowa because there aren’t a lot of engineering opportunities here,” she says. “There’s a lot more opportunities in Chicago and Detroit and the big cities that have a lot of engineering firms.” Twenty-year-old Tarek Fahmy, a Cedar Falls native, is a student at the University of Northern Iowa. “I’m sure there’s a lot of other factors that go into the bill itself, but when you look at it at face value, you know, of course when you’re young and you wouldn’t have to pay the state income tax, that’s always a plus,” he says. “I think it would help, you know, keeping some students in the state.” Twenty-three-year-old Jessica Bash of Des Moines sees good and bad in the proposal. “A lot of people under 30 honestly don’t make a whole lot of money, so lack of an income tax would probably be somewhat of a blessing for them,” she says. “A bad aspect of it is that if they don’t charge people under 30 their income taxes, it will raise other taxes, so…maybe it’s one of those things where it’s a good thing in theory, but it might not work out for the best.” And 23-year-old Daniel March of Des Moines says tax policy isn’t uppermost in the minds of young people when they’re deciding where to live. “I kind of am used to the government taking huge chunks out of my check and I just kind of disregard it, so I really don’t think it would make that big of a difference to me,” he says. Some estimates indicate erasing state taxes for Iowans under the age of 30 could put as much as 200 million dollars in the pockets of young Iowa adults.
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