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Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds' blueprint for low taxes, fiscal conservatism

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has cut taxes in her state since taking office in 2018 while maintaining a budget surplus. She is endorsing Florida's Ron DeSantis for president.

The 2024 election has put Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds into the national spotlight, with the 2024 presidential race kicking off with the Iowa caucuses on Monday and candidates vying for the endorsement of the popular governor. Despite the attention of the presidential nomination, the Republican has also garnered plenty of attention in her own right due to the success of her fiscally conservative agenda.

Since taking office in 2018, Iowa slashed its state income tax three times, going from the sixth-highest rate in the nation of 8.98% down to 6%. Critics of cutting tax rates will caution that reducing them can reduce revenue, thereby increasing the chance of a budget shortfall. However, despite the reductions, the state still ended last fiscal year with a surplus. More cuts are set to come after the GOP-led legislature passed a flat tax that is slated to fall to 3.9% by 2026.

Reynolds said after announcing Iowa's budget surplus last year that she aims to make further cuts by the time she leaves office in 2027. The Wall Street Journal reported that she said at the time, "My goal is to get to zero individual income-tax rate by the end of this second term." Doing so would make Iowa one of only 10 states in the country without an income tax, joining such states as Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, among others. 


While former President Trump is known for the federal income cuts implemented during his time in the White House, Reynolds endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rather than Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination. Trump, who endorsed Reynolds in 2018 and 2022, didn't take kindly to the endorsement of Trump's presidential nomination rival, saying on his Truth Social site, "If and when Kim Reynolds of Iowa endorses Ron DeSanctimonious, who is absolutely dying in the polls both in Iowa and Nationwide, it will be the end of her political career in that MAGA would never support her again, just as MAGA will never support DeSanctimonious again."

Reynolds said the budget surplus should accelerate the reduction of taxes and proposed three key items for an agenda going into 2024, clearing the path for her to reach a zero percent state income tax rate by the end of her second term:


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