“A rising tide lifts all the boats.”
The last few times a state has elected a Governor that was clearly not affiliated with either of the two major parties reforms to taxation happened! In Rhode Island when Lincoln Chafee won he cut the commercial property tax and reduced estate taxes. When Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota he oversaw reforms of Minnesota’s property tax, cut income taxes, and oversaw the state’s first sales tax rebate! Beyond Ventura’s policy initiatives, Ventura will most be remembered for getting average citizens interested in politics. I am one of them. While Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson was Governor of New Mexico he vetoed 200 of 424 bills passed in his first six months in office—a national record of 47% of all legislation—and used the line-item veto on most remaining bills. He also passed a gasoline tax cut. While Governor of Massachusetts Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate William Weld had the business community react strongly to his leadership. In a 1994 survey of chief executives conducted by the Massachusetts High Technology Council, 83% of those polled rated the state’s business climate as good or excellent—up from only 33% at the beginning of his term. It is important to note that New Hampshire has no general sales tax, nor is personal income (other than interest and dividends) taxed at either the state or local level. This is not some pipe dream, it is achievable as Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and, Wyoming, and Tennessee do not have income tax either. In addition to New Hampshire, Oregon, Delaware, Montana, and Alaska also have no sales tax. Iowa if you make history with me and elect a non-democrat and a non-republican I will work to reduce and simplify taxation across the board. Here are some ways that we can accomplish this.
Cut Waste, increase efficiency, innovate, modernize, and work smarter not harder!- I am willing to bet that we can go through the budget with a fine tooth comb and cut waste without so much as firing anyone or touching a hair on the social safety net or education. I am confident that we can even find enough waste to increase mental health and education spending while we are at it.
Increase Sales – The government sells a lot of stuff – whether that is hunting licenses, unclaimed property, park passes, or public transportation tickets. But the government does not do a good job marketing their services as well as optimizing the sales process. The state could easily get more money if they gave citizens the option to renew services automatically or be better reminded through various channels.
Optimize Collections – Libertarians would like to get punishments for non-violent offenses off the books. Guess what this will not happen over night, and it won’t ever happen if we do not get elected. By lowering the barrier to payment on fines, we could greatly increase revenue. Websites that sell things learned this a long time ago with 1-click payment. It has to be super easy for people to buy or they will forget or move on. Government agencies could increase revenue by spending time optimizing the collection process making it easy to for people to pay their fees. There are a lot of unpaid parking tickets, library fees, business/property taxes, and other fees that can ramp up quickly if governments optimized the collection process.
Shut down the High Quality Jobs slush fund- The High Quality Jobs Fund is Orwellianly titled. Since 2011, the High Quality Jobs program has cost Iowa taxpayers more than $352 million in tax exemptions. For that enormous sum, we’ve gotten just 1,300 new jobs in return, at a cost of nearly $3 million dollars per job. Iowa does not need to bribe large corporations to build big data centers here. We already have huge advantages that bring them here naturally. Electricity is their biggest ongoing cost and we have lots of low cost, reliable, renewable-produced electricity. We are only going to have more renewable energy from here on out. Iowa is also relatively free from earthquakes, has lots of water and our winters reduce the cost of cooling hot computer servers for half of the year. In addition, there’s an Iowa sales tax exemption on the electricity consumed by data centers, a tax break worth tens of millions.
New Markets- Lets get it out of way. Yes, I want to entirely end prohibition. I want whole plant freedom for the species Cannabis sativa. This includes hemp and it’s “sister” cannabis. Colorado has received more than $500 million in tax revenue from marijuana sales since it legalized the drug in 2014. Couple this with hemp revenue and you could see this number triple. How is that for a one-two punch? Why stop there? The list of easily provable medicinal scheduled items goes well beyond marijuana. Think of the markets for ibogaine, kratom, psilocybin mushrooms, mdma, and raw dairy! We could address our aging related illness, obesity, depression, suicide, mental health, ptsd, meth, heroin and opioid problems head on! Think of how many people that we could get off of welfare and/or back into the workforce! Think of the savings to medical costs! Of course I do not think that any of these items are miracle cures or that these items should be used without the assistance of medical professionals. I simply think that medical professionals should be free to utilize these medicines! You do not and should not take my word for it. Do your own research. Talk to medical professionals. Read scientific journals. Visit and see if you agree with me that Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the union. By reducing harmful big ag subsidies we can open up markets for aronia and blackberries. For wheat, tobacco, oat, straw. You wanna get nuts!? Come on! Lets get nuts! We can open up markets for hazlenut, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts. Farmers could compete via pollinator or fish farming! The great thing is that all of these things can be farmed in sustainable and ethical manners by independent farmers. We could increase revenue while preserving Iowa’s water and soil and restoring Prairie! Lets give new market freedom a chance!
Privatize the Iowa Lottery-
I think that the lottery should be privatized. However it is important to note that Illinois, New Jersey, and Indiana have provided examples of how NOT to privatize the lottery. It seems to me a majority of lottery experts agree that successful internet lottery operations will be the key to continued growth. I remain optimistic about the prospects for the Iowa Lottery to improve their level of performance by enlisting experienced private managers. I think that we must look for operators who offer real differences in the ways that the lottery would be run, not just projections based on business-as-usual approaches. We must also ask for an upfront payment. This would stimulate strong competition and ensure that the state would benefit from day one. The contract should remunerate the operator with a share of the net proceeds of the lottery [sales less prizes]. This would not only align the incentives of both the new operator and the state, but also provide an appropriate balance between risk and reward for the two. A private operator would modernize all lottery technology and embrace interactive lottery games, guaranteeing a new approach and new revenues. An appropriate manager would have experience generating revenues for a lottery. If done effectively this could have a significant positive impact on state revenue.
Legalize Fantasy Sports, E-Sports for profit, and ensure online gamblers have safe access to their money-
Listen, if people are going to spend their time playing video games we should allow them to create revenue. People are going to gamble whether any of us like it or not. While we should make sure that those that need help with addiction have help readily available it does not make much sense to me to force gamblers and gamers underground or into national or global markets. I think this area could provide us a huge increase in revenue if we simply embrace reality.
Voluntary Donation- Shocking I know. Do you think that people without chosen beneficiaries would leave money to their county, city, or state? Do you think people that feel that they have more than enough wealth to go around would? You know what, I think so and it could not hurt to try. What if we simply opened the door to voluntary taxation while reducing forced taxation? What harm comes from trying? What if we could provide such good representation that people responded with voluntary tax payments? But Marco, our taxation is already voluntary. Good luck trying that one.