Seven Ways The Inflation Reduction Act Helps Iowans

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Inflation Reduction Act is a big bill and it does a lot. And it does a lot for everyday Americans, including here in Iowa

Here are some of the big ways Iowans will be impacted:

1. Affordable clean energy

The Inflation Reduction Act includes a lot of tax credits and rebates for families to switch their appliances to electric. That includes hundreds of thousands of low and moderate-income Iowans.

It also includes 30% tax credits to install solar panels and make other upgrades to reduce energy leakage, and there’s no income limit. There are also tax credits for community solar projects, and grants for local governments to adopt building energy codes that would save new homeowners in Iowa about $346 a year.

2. Community resiliency to climate changes

This measure includes money to upgrade the homes of tens of thousands of Iowans who qualify for affordable housing. The modifications will include measures such as flood-proofing, storm resistance, and clean energy upgrades. In the past few years, Iowans have seen a number of destructive storms and massive flooding. The Inflation Reduction Act aims to help people withstand those disasters.

3. Savings for small businesses

Small businesses make up most of Iowa’s businesses. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to make improvements to increase energy efficiency. And with more efficiency comes lower, more stable utility bills.

Small businesses can also receive tax credits to cover 30% of the cost of installing solar panels.

4. Job creation

Already, the wind energy industry employs thousands of Iowans. Under the Infrastructure Reduction Act, that number would increase and expand to industries like solar and energy storage. There’s a $24 billion investment in clean power generation in Iowa between now and 2030. And there are requirements for new jobs to pay prevailing wages, which means workers will be paid fairly.

In addition to that, the Inflation Reduction Act boosts domestic manufacturing, too, which impacts hundreds of thousands of Iowa workers. The goal is to strengthen the supply chain and to make the US a leader in producing environmentally friendly materials such as steel and cement. The bill requires clean energy industries to buy American, and this part of the bill will make it easier for those industries to do so.

5. Insulin price caps

The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin prices at $35 per month for people who are on Medicare, which includes approximately 34,000 Iowans­. The average price of insulin in America is almost $99, and for people who find that too expensive, they resort to rationing their insulin supply or they cross the Canadian border to get it for closer to $12.

Senate Democrats tried to expand this cap to private insurance companies as well, but Senate Republicans voted against including it in the final bill.

The bill also caps seniors’ drug prices at $2,000 per year under Medicare.

6. Making farms environmentally friendly

The biggest amount of money here goes to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, a US Department of Agriculture program that pays for projects that reduce emissions and restore the natural ecosystem.

One example is promoting cover crops, which bring some diversity to the soil, lock in moisture, prevent erosion and help control runoff, which is a big problem for Iowa’s waterways. Also, the more plants in the ground at a time, the more carbon dioxide is absorbed from the air and stored in the ground.

Another program is the Conservation Stewardship Program, which is similar but provides a bigger range of conservation projects. Those projects can be customized to an individual farmer’s crops and needs.

7. Holding corporations accountable for taxes

It’s no secret that many wealthy corporations such as Apple and Amazon avoid paying taxes. That’s done through a number of tax breaks and stock manipulation.

The Inflation Reduction Act cuts down on those.

Billion-dollar corporations will have a 15% tax on profits, and a tax on corporations that buy their own stocks, which is a method used to boost their stock value, return money to investors, and get out of paying taxes because those purchases weren’t taxed. Until now.

 

Nikoel Hytrek
08/22/22

Have a story idea or something I should know? Email me at nikoel@iowastartingline.com. You can also DM me on Twitter at @n_hytrek

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3 Comments on "Seven Ways The Inflation Reduction Act Helps Iowans"

  • In a sane universe, farm pollution would be regulated like other kinds of pollution. But ours is not a sane universe, and Iowa Big Ag runs Iowa.

    So congratulations, Iowa Big Ag, on getting yet more public money, this time to pay for some of the conservation you should already be required to do in order to qualify for Farm Bill benefits. And of course you’ll go right on voting Republican. We can count on that.

  • Per #6, there are, of course, some Iowa farmers and landowners who are already doing wonderful comprehensive farm conservation and who deserve public recognition and gratitude. They are a small minority, but they do exist.

    In the past, I’ve sat in a big room full of angry farmers and landowners who were pointing out that bad-steward farmers were getting bribed with tax dollars to finally do some conservation, while good farmers who had already been doing conservation were getting zip. That was the basic Farm Bill approach to conservation for many years.

    I hope and assume these new programs won’t work that way.

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