UPDATED: Event: “Where did our Money Go?”
Due to inclement weather this event has been rescheduled for Friday, February 23rd
WHO: Dr. David Fisher, David Swenson and Michael Fitzgerald
WHAT: “Where’d Our Money Go” – a public forum on the status of Iowa’s budget deficit and funding priorities
WHEN: February 23,2018 at 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Collegiate Methodist Church, 2622 Lincoln Way, Ames IA
Two of the state’s leading economists and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald will lead a community forum in Ames to examine a question Iowa taxpayers increasingly ask, “Where did our money go?”
The public forum will be held Thursday, February 22, at the Collegiate United Methodist Church Wesley Hall, 2622 Lincoln Way. The program begins at 7:00 pm, and it is free and open to the public. Attendees will hear from and have an opportunity to ask questions of state revenue experts.
The panel members will be Dr. David Fisher, a national expert on public finances and research director for the Iowa Policy Project; Iowa State University economist David Swenson; and Fitzgerald, Iowa’s long-term state treasurer. Ames community leader Jodi O’Donnell will moderate the forum. The event is sponsored by the Story County Democratic Party.
The topic that asks where tax-funded revenues have gone is timely, says forum organizer John Klaus, vice chair for the Story County Democrats. Klaus points to a four-year trajectory that took the state’s budget from more than a $900 million surplus to a $130 million deficit. While State of Iowa agencies are again forced to make dramatic, mid-year budget cuts, and lawmakers choose to allocate only a 1-percent increase to public school funding, Klaus says that state revenues continue to be drained by long-term tax giveaways and financial incentives given to private corporations.
“I think there’s a genuine and widespread interest in learning where our money went, and what we can do to restore funding for essential public services like public education, water quality and mental health services,” Klaus said. “What are the factors that have caused lawmakers to borrow money and to now consider raising the state sales tax to fill funding gaps?”
Dr. Peter Fisher is professor emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa. He has served as a consultant to the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the Iowa Business Council, and the State of Ohio. David Swenson holds a position in the ISU Department of Economics and is widely sought for regional and statewide economic analysis, as well as his work in community economics and fiscal impact research. Mike Fitzgerald grew up in Colo, Iowa and was elected state treasurer in 1982.