From the field to the factory floor to the office, the way business is done has changed in countless ways since 1986, the last time the U.S. tax code was overhauled. In the more than three decades since, the global economy has become faster-paced and more interconnected, pitting Iowa's workforce and job creators against international competition.
At the same time, the U.S. tax code has saddled our workers and job creators with the highest business tax rate in the developed world, making our companies, products and people less competitive in foreign markets. Outdated international tax rules impose penalties on companies that want to bring overseas profits back to Iowa communities to hire, invest and expand operations. Our tax code weighs Iowa's economy down.
When this administration took office in 2011, Iowa's unemployment rate stood at 5.7 percent. This year, it hit 3 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years. We've worked hard to grow economic opportunity for all Iowans.
But Iowa families are burdened with high income taxes that lower their take-home pay and business tax rates that limit economic opportunities and wage increases. Because up to 75 percent of the burden of business tax rates falls on workers, paychecks are smaller and raises are all too rare. When working families should be dedicating money to savings, college and retirement accounts, they're sending too much out of their hard-earned paychecks to Washington, D.C., instead.
It's time for a change, and help is on the way. We want to applaud the members of Iowa's congressional delegations in the House and Senate for beginning this discussion and taking the first steps in fighting to modernize our outdated federal tax laws and give Iowans the fairer, simpler, more competitive tax code they deserve.
As the president and Congress are working to reform federal taxes, we’re fighting to achieve state tax reforms that will enable Iowa's tax code, ranked 40th most competitive in the nation in 2017 by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, to be more business and innovation friendly. It's time for our country to do the same. We have unshakeable faith that, on a level tax playing field, Iowa workers and job creators can compete and win internationally and sustain a boundless, vibrant economy here at home.
We urge Congress to pass tax reform this year. Iowa is counting on you. - Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham