Messaging Guide: Iowans Deserve a Fair Tax Plan

folder_openMessage Guide, Research

Corporate Kim Reynolds and the Republican legislature have offered Iowans three tax plans that would make life harder for working families while giving big corporations and the wealthy massive tax cuts. These proposals are sure to have a negative impact on Iowa’s economy, public resources and the fabric of our communities. 

A fair tax plan would ensure that tax cuts go to the middle class and the wealthy pay their fair share. But Gov. Reynolds is dead set on making Iowa a place where only the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world can get ahead. Under her proposal lower income earners will pay more while the rich and big corporations who don’t pay their workers enough get a handout. 

Iowans can’t stand for this. By uniting and opposing Corporate Kim Reynolds’ tax plan we can draw attention to the corporate motivations behind her policies and fight for an Iowa that supports working families. 

Key Research Takeaways

Our latest research shows that messaging on Reynolds’ Workforce Crisis works most effectively across demographics to reduce Reynolds’ job approval and attractiveness as ballot choice. This message also leads more voters to believe that Reynolds’ tax plan will hurt working families and drain community resources

When tracking opposition to the flat income tax proposal, the messages Reynolds’ Workforce Crisis and Flat Isn’t Fair tied at the top. 

Several groups, particularly minority voters, disapprove of Reynolds’ job performance and ballot candidacy when confronted with the Iowa Crisis message. 

Flat isn’t Fair also moves Independents and third party voters. In our survey, even households with income over $100,000 recognized that Reynolds’ tax plan isn’t fair. Her job approval even went down slightly among conservatives and Republicans when presented with Reynolds’ Workforce Crisis, Iowa Crises, and Flat isn’t Fair (in that order).  

Key Message Guidance  

Emotion and repetition are powerful tools to use for every message. They help our allies remember the talking points and stay on message, allowing us to speak as a united front and frame the discussion. 

  • Start with a shared values statement. 
  • Name the problem and define the opposition to our shared value.
    • However, don’t repeat the opposition’s message, even to negate it. Speak proactively to reframe the issue. 
  • Frame the opposition as a “hurdle” we can overcome, rather than a “barrier” that stops us. 
  • Make voters the protagonists and focus on values. 
  • Provide tangible outcomes. 
  • End with a call to action.

Sample Messaging: Reynolds’ Workforce Crisis

Iowans are hardworking people who take pride in their jobs. But fewer Iowans are working today than when Governor Reynolds took office. There aren’t enough workers to keep schools, hospitals, and small businesses open.Shared Value
Now, Reynolds is doubling down on the policies that created her workforce crisis. The ones that give the wealthy and big businesses tax breaks, while taking money away from our public schools, public safety, and health care services.Define the opposition & Tie to current threats
We need a new direction to solve the Reynolds workforce crisis. Let’s make Iowa a better place where folks want to live, work, and raise a family.Call to action

Sample Messaging: Iowa Crisis

Iowans are good neighbors. We help each other and work together, especially during a crisis. Shared value 
We were given federal dollars (our tax dollars) to help with these crises, but Governor Reynolds didn’t use them to support Iowans in need. Instead, she’s calling unspent funds a surplus and using it as an excuse to give the wealthiest among us a massive tax cut. Define the opposition
We need a tax code that supports Iowa families, not her wealthy donors. It’s time we invest in our communities and make Iowa a better place for all of us, not just the wealthy few.  Call to action & outcome we can achieve

Sample Messaging: Flat isn’t fair  

Iowans are fair, hardworking people who deserve a fair tax system that invests in working families. Shared value 
But the flat-tax offered by Governor Reynolds and Republicans isn’t fair at all. Their tax plan will provide massive tax breaks for corporations and the ultra wealthy, while actually raising taxes on everybody else.Define the opposition & Tie to current threats 
Flat isn’t fair. We need a plan that strengthens everyone’s pocketbooks, not just the wealthy few. Call to action & Outcomes we can achieve

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