Your Voice Matters!
Your voice made a difference!
When we learned that Iowa’s blood supply was threatened by the 2018 tax reform bill, you sprang into action. You called, emailed, sent postcards and visited legislators on our behalf. We heard from multiple legislators that they were receiving your message. Your efforts were critical to educating and gaining support for a legislative fix to the tax issues created by the 2018 tax reform bill. Even though we are disappointed in the final result, it is important to note we did make significant progress. Beginning July 1, LifeServe Blood Center will no longer pay taxes on items used in the collection, processing, and testing of our communities blood supply.
Your advocacy ensured the Senate passed SF597, 47-0. The bill provided immediate tax relief to nonprofit blood centers as it related to manufacturing, digital products, including refunds of the tax paid since June 2018 with implementation the day the Governor signed the bill. We would like to thank Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee Members Senator Randy Feenstra, Senator Pam Jochum and Senator Roby Smith for their work with us to get a bill that resolved all the issues. We want to thank and acknowledge every senator who supported their community blood supply through their unanimous support of the bill. We want to give special acknowledgment to Senator Jim Carlin, Senator Jack Whitver, Senator Charles Schneider, Senator Zach Nunn, and Senator Janet Petersen for their unwavering support.
As the House considered SF597, it quickly became apparent that this was a year of competing priorities. Unfortunately, that resulted in a significant revision to SF597. We had terrific champions from the House Ways and Means Subcommittee in Rep. Jacob Bossman, Rep. Matt Windschitl and Rep. Timi Brown-Powers. These legislators worked tirelessly to find a way to bring the Senate bill, as passed, to the floor of the House. Several members of the House of Representatives were strong supporters, and it is impossible to recognize all of them. We would acknowledge Rep. John Landon, Rep. Brian Lohse, Rep. Marti Anderson, Rep. Lee Hein and Rep. Dave Jacoby for their support and guidance. As the session ended, it was determined a partial solution was the best the House of Representatives could accomplish.
House Amendment S-3234 was added to Senate File 597. This amendment resulted in nonprofit blood centers in the State of Iowa being exempted from tax on items used in manufacturing beginning July 1, 2019. All other aspects of SF597 were removed. We will pay tax on all facets of our operation until June 30, 2019. We will continue to pay tax on digital products such as software past June 30, 2019. The House Amendment passed unanimously in the House and the Senate and now heads to the governor. We fully anticipate the bill to be signed by the governor.
We still believe, however, that Iowa has more work to do to level the playing field for its nonprofit blood centers. Iowa remains one of three states where its nonprofit blood centers are paying tax. For-profit plasma centers and non-profit financial and insurance organizations are not paying tax on their digital products. Long term, it is essential for the people of Iowa, that Iowa’s nonprofit blood centers are treated fairly. When the time is right, we will begin again to fight for a level playing field for our community blood supply. We will advocate for a bill that exempts Iowa non-profit blood centers from tax on digital products like software and computer services. When we pick up the torch to fight that battle, we know you’ll be right there with us.
What happened at the Capitol this year is a testament to your advocacy for Iowa’s blood supply. We are looking forward to the day in the future when Iowa joins the other 47 states and says YES to support their community blood supply. We wouldn’t have got here without you. Thank you.
Together….We save lives!
President & CEO, LifeServe Blood Center