Statewide Iowa — A three-member state panel agrees the Iowa economy is headed in a positive direction, but the group cautions state tax revenue won’t quite rebound to pre-pandemic levels over the next three quarters.

Holly Lyons of the Iowa Legislative Services Agency says the pandemic and damage from the derecho as well as uncertainty about the election and another federal stimulus payments are all a drag on the Iowa economy.

(as said) “How do you adjust to an ever-changing situation where the new normal seems to be indefinite uncertainty?” Lyons asks.

Lyons and two other members of the Revenue Estimating Conference predict state tax collections will be down two-tenths of a percent in the current state fiscal year. David Roederer, the governor’s budget director, says there are modest signs of strength in Iowa’s economy, helped by the unprecedented six billion dollars in direct federal aid to Iowa businesses.

(as said) “I think the key is at what pace will the economy reenergize and rebound from a pandemic that refuses to leave us or be vaccinated away,” Roederer says. “All wonder when our lives are going to get back to normal, but maybe better yet how are we even going to define normal.”

David Underwood, a CPA from Clear Lake, says there’s reason for optimism.

(as said) “The adaptability of Iowa’s businesses and non-profit organizations to adapt to the new abnormal has just been tremendous,” Underwood says.

The group acknowledges losses in the restaurant, bar and hospitality industry, but cites increases in e-commerce and spending to outfit home offices. The panel predicts state tax revenue will surge four percent higher in the next state fiscal year.

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