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Legislative Representative

 

Iowa Rural Water Association
Final Legislative ReportUpdate
February 18, 2022

Emily Piper, Contract Specialist

Emily Piper

Contract Lobbyist
515-202-7772

Email Emily

Under the Golden Dome

Week six of the 2022 legislative session was the first funnel deadline.  Bills, except for budget and tax bills, had to pass a committee in one chamber to remain alive.   The House also spent time debating their version of a tax bill to start the negotiations with the Senate.  The House proposal differs slightly from the governor’s proposal and there are significant differences between the House and the Senate.  The Senate tax bill is eligible for floor debate.  Here’s a brief breakdown of the differences:

Governor

House

Senate

Flat 4% income tax rate

Flat 4% income tax rate

Reduces gradually to 3.5%

Reduce corporate income taxes

 

Reduces corporate income taxes

Exempts retirement income

Exempts retirement income

Exempts retirement income

Cash rent tax exemption

Cash rent tax exemption

Cash rent tax exemption

 

 

Changes local option sales tax to a state tax to be redistriburted to cities and counties, increasing state sales tax to 7%

 

 

Changes water excise tax to water sales tax

 

 

Eliminates funding stream to WQ programs created with passage of SF 512 a few years ago

 

 

Funds the natural resource trust fund

Bills of Interest

SF 2206:  This bill is the Senate tax bill which includes raising the sales tax by making the local option sales tax a statewide tax to be redistributed to localities.  The proposal funds the natural resources trust fund and changes the water excise tax back to a water sales tax.   The water utilties are working to maintain it as an excise tax.  The bill passed Senate Ways and Means.

SF 2308:  This bill requires utilities to provide estimated annual utility cost information to landlords and requires landlords to provide that information to prospective tenants.  The bill exempts municipal utilities and RECs from this requirement if they don’t provide budget billing for their customers.  IRWA is registered opposed.  The bill passed the Senate Commerce Committee.

HSB 615:  This bill exempts certain digital products purchased by utilities including water utilities from state sales tax.  IRWA is registered in support.  The bill is in the House Ways and Means Committee.

HF 2227:  This bill eliminates the requirement that landlords notify water utilities when a tenant changes.  IRWA is registered opposed.  The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is eligible for floor debate.

HF 2296/SF 2189:  This bill requires that those with control over public right of way treat the installation of broadband in the right of way in the same manner that it treats other utilities.  IRWA is registered neutral on the bill.  HF 2296 passed the House Information and Technology Committee and SF 2189 passed the Senate Commerce Committee.

HF 2302/SF 2049:  This bill creates an affirmative defense against a tort claim for businesses who meet certain criteria in their cybersecurity protections.   The definition of business is overly broad and includes nonprofit rural water systems.   IRWA is seeking an amendment to clarify the bill does not apply to them.  HF 2302 passed the House Information and Technology Committee and SF 2049 passed the Senate Commerce Committee.

Bills that Died
SSB 3113: utility cost disclosures (note SF 2308 above)
SF 2106: landlord lien