Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate Table Remains the Same for 2021
DES MOINES – Iowa Workforce Development announced that the unemployment insurance tax rates for Iowa employers will remain unchanged for 2021. In June 2020, Gov. Reynolds directed $490 million of the State’s $1.25 billion in CARES Act Coronavirus relief funds to be deposited into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. This deposit ensured that Iowa would remain in Tax Table 7 for 2021.
“Remaining in Tax Table 7 is key to Governor Reynolds' overall recovery strategy. Her decision will save Iowa employers over $400 million in unemployment insurance taxes in 2021 and significantly reduce the impact of the pandemic on employers,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “Additionally, she made the decision at the beginning of the pandemic not to charge employers' accounts with unemployment claims. Under Governor Reynolds' leadership, Iowa employers will not face higher taxes due to having to lay off employees during the pandemic.”
Iowa Law requires Iowa Workforce Development to establish the tax table that determines the unemployment insurance tax rate for eligible employers each year. The unemployment insurance rate table trigger formula is primarily based on the trust fund balance on either June 30th or August 15th each year, whichever balance is higher. The formula is designed to enable the trust fund to keep pace with potential liabilities as covered unemployment and wages grow. Based on this formula, the contribution rate table will remain in table 7 of 8 possible tables in 2021.
Iowa Workforce Development is the state agency charged with collecting unemployment insurance taxes from employers and operating Iowa’s unemployment insurance payment program for workers. Through a network of IowaWORKS centers, the agency also connects job seekers with opportunities and employers with workforce solutions.
Grants now available to help Iowa schools purchase locally grown products
Applications for all three programs are due September 7
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced the creation of a Local Produce and Protein Program this week. Gov. Reynolds has allocated $500,000 through CARES Act funding to help Iowa schools purchase locally grown products from Iowa farmers impacted by COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions. The funding will be awarded through three grant programs administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
Up to $160,000 will be allocated for these sub-grants. The funds will be divided amongst approved K-12 schools. Each approved applicant may receive up to $5,000, depending on the number of applicants. The expenses must be incurred between March 1 and Dec. 1, 2020. Applications are due Sept. 7, 2020. Funds must be expended by Dec. 1, 2020.
Local Food Grant for All Iowa Schools
All Iowa schools, including K-12, colleges and universities and early care centers, can apply for the local food sub-grant. Approved schools will be reimbursed for a portion of the costs to purchase produce and protein from local farmers. At least half of the funds must be used to purchase fruits and vegetables. Produce, liquid and shelled eggs, and dairy products (excluding liquid milk) must be purchased directly from local producers, food hubs or food auctions. Meat and poultry products must be processed in-state or by a USDA-inspected meat locker.
Up to $220,000 will be allocated for these sub-grants. The funds will be divided amongst approved Iowa schools. The expenses must be incurred between March 1 and Dec. 1, 2020. Applications are due Sept. 7, 2020. Funds must be expended by Dec. 1, 2020.
Equipment Grant for Producers and Food Hubs
Iowa specialty crop producers and food hubs can apply to be reimbursed for the purchase of supplies and equipment needed to serve their products in schools, colleges, universities and early care centers. Some examples of eligible purchases include refrigerated trucks, cold storage units, and boxes and packaging equipment. Producers must be willing to sell to schools and enroll in the Farm to School directory to be eligible.
Up to $110,000 will be allocated to support these sub-grants. The money will be divided amongst approved producers and food hubs. Each approved applicant may receive $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the number of approved applicants. Applications are due Sept. 7, 2020. Funds must be expended by Dec. 1, 2020.
Eligible applicants can apply for the Local Produce and Protein Program grants online at www.iowaagriculture.gov/grants. Please contact Tammy Stotts, program administrator, with questions at 515.281.7657 or email@example.com.
Postponed Until Further Notice
Business After Hours
Carnegie Historical Museum
Friday, September 4, 2020
Join us on Friday, September 4th, 2020 for Business After Hours at Carnegie Historical Museum! Enjoy an outdoor and indoor setting with social distancing. Come visit the museum!
CARNEGIE HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Open from 4:30pm - 7pm
OUTDOOR refreshments and seating... individual bottled drinks and snack packets.
Masks available for those who need them ~
.....also hand sanitizers!
5pm Mayor Boyer ribbon cutting for WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL display.
Groups of 10 will be guided on a MUSEUM WALK-THROUGH to view 10 new or updated displays... five museum board members will be posted throughout to answer questions.
Please visit Carnegie Historical Museum online at: https://jeffersoncountyheritage.org/carnegie-museum/
As of 9/1/20, this event has been postponed until further notice due to concerns over the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Iowa. For more information, please contact the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce at 641-472-2111.
We are here to help.
The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) brings strength to Iowa's rich heritage. Our three divisions - Community Action Agencies, Community Advocacy and Services, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning - work to reduce cultural, social, and economic barriers to opportunities for Iowans to succeed.
On August 10, 2020, Iowa was hit hard with a derecho. The storm left Iowans with damaged homes and property, flattened crops, power and internet outages, spoiled food, and other devastation. Our hearts go out to all those affected, especially as we are navigating the current COVID-19 pandemic and the new school year. We are sharing these resources to help Iowans access support and services during these challenging times.
Disaster Recovery Resources
DHS Disaster Assistance
Governor Kim Reynolds issued disaster proclamations for a number of counties affected by the recent derecho storm. Visit the Iowa Department of Human Services' website regarding Food Assistance replacement, Iowa Individual Disaster Assistance Grant Program, Iowa Disaster Case Management, and Disaster Behavior Health Response.
Community Action Agencies
Many community action agencies offer assistance such as food banks, food delivery initiatives, clothing, diapers, and other emergency and disaster relief needs. There is a network of 17 community action agencies that serves all of Iowa's 99 counties. To find a community action agency near you, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website.
211 Help Line www.211iowa.org
211 provides support, resources, and referrals in the event of a disaster. Iowans may call 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431 to be connected to the help they need.
For the English Language Learner Help Line, call 1-877-558-2609.
For deaf and hard-of-hearing Iowans, dial 7-1-1 first for the Telecommunications Relay Service to reach the 2-1-1 hotline.
American Red Cross Serving Iowa
The Red Cross provides critical resources to assist Iowa with recovery efforts, including shelter, food, emergency supplies, and disaster health services. Red Cross is putting plans in place to provide financial assistance; more information will be forthcoming. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS and dial 0 to speak with a representative. Updates can be found here: News and Events and Facebook.
The Iowa Association of Realtors' grant is available to help individuals affected by the derecho storm with mortgage payment assistance or rental costs due to displacement up to $1,000 per applicant. Some scenarios for eligibility may include a homeowner with a mortgage that was displaced due to damage of their home; a homeowner with a mortgage living in their home without power due to the storm damage; a renter that was displaced due to damage of their apartment building.
Free U-haul Self-Storage Units for 30 days
U-Haul facilities across the state are offering 30 days of free self-storage units and U-Box portable storage containers to residents affected by the derecho. Find the locations offering this service by clicking here.
Many volunteer opportunities can be found on the state's Volunteer Iowa website. For volunteer opportunities related to the derecho, click here. Volunteers are advised to use health and safety measures.
CDC Safety Tips
The CDC offers health and safety tips, including chainsaw precautions, when cleaning up after severe weather. Use safety gear, pace yourself, and be careful of potential hazards. Clean Up Safety After a Disaster
For additional local resources, including updates, requesting help, volunteer and donation opportunities, visit the city and county websites and their social media pages.
Beware of Post-Storm Scams
Scammers use phone, text, mail, email, in-person visits to target residents affected by severe weather. The Iowa Attorney General's Office advises Iowans to beware of scammers and offers advice on how to protect yourself. Deal with reputable companies, verify contractors, understand your insurance, avoid paying large sums up front, and know your rights. Get more advice and information on how to file a complaint with the Iowa Attorney General's Office.
The Iowa State Bar Association has a list of resources for legal assistance. Visit their website for locations and programs: https://www.iowabar.org/page/LegalAssistance.
Iowa COVID-19 Legal Advice Hotline 1-800-332-0419 Iowans experiencing legal issues related to COVID-19, such as eviction, denial of unemployment benefits, employment issues or identity theft may call the hotline. Callers can leave a message, and a representative will call them back. The hotline is a project of Iowa Legal Aid, the Iowa State Bar Association, and the Polk County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project.
Census Data Affects Disaster Preparedness
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, your responses to the 2020 Census can affect disaster preparedness. Information about how many people live in a town and where they live is critical for emergency response. Statistics from the 2020 Census will provide baseline numbers for funding of federal disaster relief, preparation, and rescue coordination. You can respond to the census online, by phone, mail. Language support is available. Respond to the census: https://bit.ly/3avv9VO.
Supplemental Unemployment Benefits
On August 14, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Iowa’s application to participate in the "Lost Wages Assistance" program for enhanced federal unemployment insurance benefits. Iowans whose unemployment is the result of the pandemic, and who are eligible for at least $100 in benefits per week, will qualify for an additional $300 in weekly benefits retroactive to the week ending August 1. As FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor continue to issue guidance, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) will continue to develop the implementation and application processes. The IWD website will be updated as additional information becomes available, including timelines for application and payment.
The IWD website also contains a section on job openings and services for job seekers.
Who still needs to take action to receive the first stimulus payment and when?
September 30 - Some federal benefit recipients need to act by September 30. The IRS reopened the registration period only for individuals who are federal benefit recipients who didn't receive $500 per qualifying child payments earlier this year.
October 15 - People who have no income or low-income and who are not required to file a tax return may be eligible for an Economic Impact Payment and can register for a payment by using the free Non-Filers tool by October 15.
Learn more: IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center
COVID-19 Educational Videos in Multiple Languages
The State of Hawaii's Office of Language access created COVID-19 educational videos in Marshallese, Korean, Tagalog, Ilocano, Mandarin, Chuukese, Cantonese, Japanese. View the youtube videos.
COVID-19 Language Resources
American Sign Language Videos-CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Resources for Limited English Proficient Populations
Congolese Health Partnership Videos
Coronavirus, State Website
Crescent Community Health Center-Marshallese Language
EMBARC Ethnic Minorities of Burma and Advocacy and Resource Center
Hawaii Office of Language Access-Youtube
Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access
Iowa Department of Public Health
Iowa Spanish Helpline 515-344-3936
Multi-Lingual Hotline 1-877-558-2609
(Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa and partners)
Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)
Register now: ISU online food systems certifications begin in September
Limited scholarships available, apply by August 21
Beginning in September, these four popular professional development opportunities for food systems practitioners will be available online. Limited scholarships are available for each course. Applications for scholarships are due August 21.
1. The Virtual Local Food Leader Certification is an integrated program of online workshops and Local Food Leader online modules. This certification program takes four months. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Local Food Leader. Cost is $375. This fall’s course begins September 1, 2020 and ends January 5, 2021. Participants will learn foundational competencies critical for successful food systems development, through integrated virtual workshops and four online modules. These include equity in food systems, working in food systems, facilitation and coordination, evaluation and professional development.
2. The Virtual Community Food Systems Full Certification is an integrated program of online workshops and Community Food System online modules. This certification program takes eight months. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Community Food Systems. Cost is $600. This year’s course begins September 15, 2020 and ends March 23, 2021. Participants will increase their capacity to work within community and develop food systems. The virtual workshops walk through strategic planning methods and practices for working with place-based communities on food systems development and includes visioning, research and community food systems assessments, prioritizing and project management, design and evaluation.
4. The Virtual Community Food Systems Assessor Certification is an integrated program of online workshops and Community Food System Assessor online modules. This certification program takes four months. Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion in Community Food Systems Assessor Certification. Cost is $325. The virtual workshops center around activities for research and evaluation including community food systems assessments and prioritization for the assessor components of the Community Food Systems process within Phase 1.
See more information about each course, including schedules, registration, and scholarship application links, at this link. Questions? Contact Kaley Hohenshell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISU Extension and Outreach
Back to Business Iowa Podcast
This podcast series is a collaboration among Iowa State University Extension and Outreach programs including Community and Economic Development, Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development, and the Iowa Small Business Development Centers. We offer topics on education, research, and technical assistance for Iowa’s small businesses. Listen to episodes below (most recent listed first), or on your favorite podcast player. (Note that several episodes are available in Spanish.)
Listen to host Steve Adams discuss “What It’s Like to Be an Iowa Business Owner During the Pandemic,” along with other guests on the July 13, 2020, episode of Talk of Iowa on Iowa Public Radio.
All podcasts can be found here
IDR Releases Updated State Tax Guidance: Sales and Use Tax Changes
On June 29, 2020 Governor Reynolds signed into law House File 2641. The Department has released updated guidance to explain this tax change as it reflects to Sales and Use Tax.
o Computer Peripherals
o Updates to Certain Digital Products and Services
o Preserve Whitetail Hunting Exemption
o Tribal Governments
o Exemptions and Refunds on Certain Construction Projects
o Manufactured Housing Use Tax Rate
o Sales and Use Collection Obligations
o Snowmobile and ATV Sales Tax Collection
To receive notifications of resources and guidance issued by the Department, subscribe to updates by selecting the tax topics of interest.
Dear colleagues and friends,
As Iowa's creative sector adapts to the longer-than-expected pandemic, we’ve been inspired by artists, arts and cultural organizations, and creative entrepreneurs across the state.
To keep moving forward, the Iowa Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts are co-hosting an Iowa-focused meeting to spread the word about grants and other resources available from state and national arts funders.
After the opening presentation, participants can stick around for a moderated question-and-answer session. This is a great chance to ask questions and share insights so we can connect you with the resources you need to keep doing what you do best – building culturally vibrant communities across Iowa.
Looking forward to seeing you there,
Director, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Administrator, Iowa Arts Council