A report released today by the Iowa Fiscal Partnership concludes that Iowa’s aging population will have a significant impact on state budgets over the next two decades. Iowans over the age of 64 will account for 22% of the state’s population by 2030.

Researcher Peter Fisher of the Iowa Policy Project cites state income tax breaks targeted at seniors as a problem area. "So what we’re doing is taxing more and more lightly the share of the population that’s growing most rapidly," Fisher says.

The number of older Iowans who’re low income or disabled and who get government-paid Medicaid for nursing home or other health care expenses will significantly increase, according to Fisher.

"The share of the state economy going to Medicaid spending is likely to almost double between now and the year 2030," Fisher says. "…Doubling that expenditure category over a period of 20 years as a share of the economy is going to create some real strains on the state budget."

Fisher argues state policymakers need fundamentally "rethink" their approach to budgeting and tax policies given the graying of Iowa’s population. Fisher co-authored the report which was released today.

Find it on-line at the Iowa Fiscal Partnership website