This month’s featured article from TEF.

Fees in the State of Iowa: The Forgotten Rules, Regulations, and Costs on the Taxpayers

By John Hendrickson

The Iowa Department of Revenue reports that 1,451 fees are imposed and collected by the State of Iowa.[1] These various fees are collected by state government agencies in Iowa. The taxpayers of Iowa, who just recently finished filing and paying their state and federal taxes, may not necessarily be aware of the many fees that exist in the Hawkeye state. Most Iowans are aware of fees that we pay on a regular basis such as vehicle registration or plate fees (county fee) or hunting and fishing licenses that are used to enjoy Iowa’s rich outdoor heritage.  Most of the 1,451 fees listed are for some form of service or required regulation, but the danger of fees is that they often can be raised to avoid raising taxes. The Iowa Supreme Court usually tries to protect taxpayers from fees used to generate revenues, but a constitutional amendment is needed to provide more concrete protection for taxpayers. A state constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority vote of the Legislature to raise any fees or taxes would help protect the interests of the taxpayers of Iowa.

[1]For a listing of the fees see Iowa Department of Revenue, “Fees Imposed and Collected by State Agencies,” <https://iafees.iowa.gov/> accessed on May 15, 2017.

 

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