Gov. Kim Reynolds 
Gov. Kim Reynolds and leaders of the Iowa House of Representatives and Iowa Senate announced an agreement on the largest tax relief and reform package in state history Friday.
The governor's office said the package will provide $398 million in tax cuts, providing an average tax reduction of nearly 10 percent immediately and continuing to provide tax relief beyond 2019.

When fully implemented as soon as 2023, the plan will reduce the number of individual income brackets to four, with a top rate of 6.5 percent. The top corporate rate will be lowered to 9.8 percent.

Iowa has  the fourth-highest individual income tax rate in the country and the highest corporate tax rate in the country, the governor noted in a press release, while Iowa is ranked 40th in business tax climate by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. U.S. News and World Report, while ranking Iowa first overall, ranked the state's business environment 46th. If nothing is done to reform the tax code, the news release said, Iowans' state taxes will increase as a result of federal tax reform because of federal deductibility.
The agreement "dramatically simplifies Iowa tax law by eventually eliminating federal deductibility, reducing the number of individual income tax brackets, automatically coupling with most federal tax laws and providing a comprehensive review of tax credits."

The tax plan includes a "trigger" to protect budget sustainability in future years, ensures full repayment of the Cash Reserve Fund this year and does not reduce the property tax backfill, according to the governor's office. It maintains large ending balances in both fiscal year 2019 and fiscal year 2020, according to estimates from the Revenue Estimating Conference, and protects key budget commitments made to education, health care and public safety. It also modernizes the sales tax code to treat online businesses the same as Main Street businesses.  

The Iowa Utilities Board issued orders last week approving an estimated $78.7 million in savings for utility customers based on the IUB's investigation and review of the tax refund proposals filed with the board by MidAmerican Energy, Alliant Energy - Interstate Power and Light, and Black Hills Energy. 
The IUB opened an investigation into the impact of the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 on Iowa's rate-regulated utilities in January 2018, Docket No. INU-2018-0001 . The utilities' tax refund proposals detailing how customers would benefit are a result of the investigation. The new tax law reduced the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

The following tax refund proposal tariffs were approved by the IUB, subject to complaint or investigation:

  • Black Hills Energy will return an estimated $2.2 million to its natural gas customers in Docket No. TF-2018-0037 
  • Alliant Energy will return approximately $34.7 million to its electric customers in Docket No. TF-2018-0038. Alliant's proposal to return estimated benefits to its natural gas customers is subject to further review by the IUB in Alliant's upcoming natural gas rate increase proceeding in Docket No. RPU-2018-0002.      
  • MidAmerican Energy will return approximately $33 million to its electric customers in Docket No. TF-2018-0041, and return an estimated $8.8 million to its natural gas customers in Docket No. TF-2018-0040.
The IUB also ordered that docket INU-2018-0001 will remain open for further investigation of issues relating to the effects of tax reform on Iowa's rate-regulated utilities, including issues relating to excess accumulated deferred income tax.

Tom Joyce
The purchase price for Coralville-based Integrated DNA Technologies, disclosed by Danaher Corp. more than a month after the deal was announced, underscores the company's strong prospects as a leading supplier of oligonucleotides worldwide.

Danaher Corp. paid "approximately $2 billion" to acquire Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), Danaher CEO Tom Joyce said in an earnings call with analysts on April 19.

Danaher is a publicly traded Fortune 500 company based in Washington, D.C. The deal was announced on March 9 without a price, but was finalized during the week of April 8.

In the conference call, Mr. Joyce praised IDT's double-digit revenue growth over a sustained period of years, and "attractive" profit margins.

"Just for context, the genomics reagent market is about a $3 billion market growing double digits with some great secular growth drivers around," Mr. Joyce said, mentioning next-gen sequencing, gene editing, and qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) technology as a few of the drivers. He said growth is also expected to come from synthetic biology.
To read the exclusive members-first story, see this week's print or digital editions of the CBJ. 
Members of University of Iowa Community Credit Union elected Laurel Day, Loras Neuroth and Mark Rolinger to the organization's board of directors at the credit union's 79th- annual meeting on April 17.
The 2018 board of directors were sworn-in during the organizational board meeting. The board elected Sarah Fisher Gardial as chairperson; Jeff Disterhoft, president; Dean Borg, vice-chair; Andre Perry, chief financial officer; and Laurel Day, secretary. Lynsey Engels, Tom Lepic, Marc Moen, Fred Mims and Dave Wright also serve on the board of directors.
UICCU is a member-owned financial cooperative with 17 office locations. Since being organized in 1938, it has grown to be the largest credit union in Iowa with over $4.9 billion in assets and 175,000 members. Membership is open to anyone living or working in Iowa and four counties in Illinois. 
A Pulse Vapor 55 Unmanned Aircraft System, the model used by in the NASA test flights. SOURCE
Rockwell Collins recently participated in two weeks of critical testing for the NASA Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) program. 
As part of the test flights, Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins served as the UAS Service Supplier (USS) for the safe management of a UAS flying beyond visual line of sight.

The company demonstrated how its CNPC-1000 Command and Control (C2) data links can be redundantly integrated to provide a fail-safe connection for operating the UAS. For example, if one link gets cut off, the operator still has a connection through another link to assure the safe operation of the UAS. Rockwell also demonstrated how its webUAS service can successfully manage multiple UAS in the air, redirecting aircraft set on conflicting flight paths as needed.

The test event was planned and orchestrated by the Northern Plains UAS Test Site staff under a NASA contract. The University of Iowa Operator Performance Laboratory (OPL), a key partner for Rockwell Collins, supported integration of the CNPC-1000 C2 links into its Pulse Aerospace Vapor 55 unmanned test vehicle and successfully piloted the aircraft throughout the test event.

"We're playing a significant role in the research and development of UTM interoperability strategies needed to successfully merge UAS operation into the National Airspace System," said Boe Svatek, program director, UAS Strategic Programs for Rockwell Collins, in a press release. "These recent test flights demonstrate that we're able to leverage safe and proven flight operations management capabilities from our ARINC heritage to ultimately enable airspace integration of all aircraft, traditional and new."
EventHeadlinesShort-Term Event Planner
April 30
Coralville Roundtable , by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., C heddar ' s,  2824 Commerce Drive, Coralville. Roundtables are social lunch es over the noon hour. All are  invited to network and keep up- to -date with chamber and community events. Free for members . Call the chamber at (319) 337-9637 if interested and not a mem ber.
May 2
1 Million Cups , by 1MC, 9-10 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids and MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City.  Join for community connections, startup pitches and free coffee. Fr ee. For more information, visit
May 3
Open Coffee , by Washington Chamber of Commerce, 8-9 a.m., Dodici ' s Shop, 120 S. Iowa Ave., Washington. Join an open discussion about fosteri ng creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Washington. Free. For more information , visit or call (319) 653-4712.
Wake Up Marion , by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 8-9 a.m., Marion City Ha ll, 1225 Sixth  Ave., Marion. Start your day with coffee and connections with fellow Marion Chamber  members. Free. To register, visit
Business with Brews,  by Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance, 4:30-6 p.m., Witwer Buildi ng, 305  Second Ave. SE, Ste. 200, Cedar Rapids. Network with like-minde d area professionals while  enjoying drinks from a local brewery. Free. For more infor mation, visit
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Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
Cedar Rapids police and fire responded to a garage fire early Sunday morning at 1814 I St. SW after neighbors heard a loud boom and saw a garage fully involved with fire.  When emergency responders arrived, they found a detached, two-stall garage fully engulfed in flames.  Police at the scene helped pull an adult female from the burning garage, she was taken to the hospital where she died a short time after.  Investigators are considering the death suspicious and are conducting an investigation. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
With construction starting today, Iowa City's Pedestrian Mall is finally getting a long-awaited, $6.8-million facelift. It's a project that has been on the minds of city leaders for four years. While construction will bring in a few changes, it's nothing area business owners are too worried about. "Nothing will change. We're just going to keep doing what we do," said Veronica Tessler, owner of Yotopia, a frozen yogurt shop in the Ped Mall. She's not concerned about the construction hurting her business because of what the end results will bring. "Better lighting, better seating, better flow. I think it's going to be a real win in the end for downtown," said Ms. Tessler. Iowa City leaders are calling it the Pedestrian Mall Improvements Project. The overall goal is to modernize the area, while ensuring it's still convenient for commuters. The project will include two years of construction work. Monday marks the beginning of the first phase on Dubuque Street, with the removal of decaying trees and fixing uneven portions of the ground. The goal is to keep shops and restaurants accessible for customers.
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

The spring weather continues this week with warmth, humidity and thunderstorms.  Today will be sunny, dry, mild and windy. In fact it will likely be the warmest day of the year (so far) with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s. It will be windy though with southerly winds around 15-35 mph today. With the dry ground, dry air and strong winds fire danger is once again high today. The pattern starts to turn more active as the rest of the week goes on. A frontal boundary will be setting up in the Upper Midwest for the middle of the week, which will be the focus for showers and thunderstorms. A few scattered showers and storms will be possible Tuesday, with a greater chance for storms Tuesday night. Another round of showers and thunderstorms will be possible though Wednesday and Thursday.  It has been dry for nearly two weeks so this will be beneficial rain, with around one to two inches of rain possible by the end of the week.