Free Webinar December 9: Electronic Filing of W-2s and 1099s
This free online presentation will provide information about the new requirements for submitting W-2s and 1099s to the Iowa Department of Revenue electronically.
Topics covered will include:
Register now or visit IASourceLink for details on past and future webinar topics.
The Department has partnered with the Center for Business Growth and Innovation at the University of Northern Iowa to provide free tax webinars on IASourceLink. The presenter for this webinar is Chet Eginoire, Program Manager with the Iowa Department of Revenue.
A monthly publication of COVID-19 resources for Iowans from
Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development
FROM THE DIRECTOR
As 2020 winds down (thankfully!) we thought it would be a good time to create a special thematic issue of Community Matters Now that focuses on an issue critical to the economic health and well-being of rural Iowa. We chose rural housing because it is a topic in which we are deeply engaged.
Our Rural Housing Readiness Assessments (RHRA) have been concluded or are in process in a number of communities across the state. You can read about our RHRA in Issues 3 and Issue 6.
In the truest meaning of “community engagement,” when we do things, we learn things. The learning and problem-solving that take place during a program such as RHRA is a two-way street. We gain a little deeper understanding of the rural housing challenge every time we conduct an RHRA session, and with every conversation we have with local housing committees and other stakeholders. In some cases, it has prompted us to dig deeper into data, causes, effects, or other issues that weren’t apparent to us when we started this program. Things that have made us go, “Hmmm.”
In this issue we are sharing three articles that fit that description. We don’t assert that we have all the answers; however, our search for the right questions incrementally leads us to a place where we are better able to respond to communities with solutions that better fit their needs.
Program Director, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development
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.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
News on the COVID-19 vaccines has been encouraging. The CDC has been working with health departments and partners to develop vaccination distribution plans for when a vaccine is available. The CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health have information on some commonly asked questions about the vaccine. When will a vaccine be available? Which groups will be given priority to receive the vaccine? How does it work? How long does the vaccine last? If I've had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine? How much will it cost? Responses to these questions can be found on the Iowa Department of Public Health's website, as well as the CDC's.
Food Insecurity During the Holidays
Holidays can be a stressful time for those experiencing food-insecurity, such as seniors and households facing economic challenges, especially when people are struggling during the pandemic. Families sometimes have to choose between food, utilities, medical care, and other necessities. Not having access to enough, affordable, and nutritious food can affect an individual's health and well-being and children's development.
Many families rely on food resources and other programs in Iowa If you are in need of food assistance, here are some organizations that provide food or other resources:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services -
American Sign Language and Braille Disability Updates
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced enhancements that make its services more accessible for members of the public with disabilities.
A 15-minute video about the naturalization process is now available in American Sign
Language. The video provides information on general eligibility requirements, filing an
application, the naturalization interview, and the Oath ceremony.
For naturalization applicants, USCIS can offer the English reading test in braille.
Hardcopy study materials are also available in braille. To request braille-related or other
accommodations, members of the public should use the online accommodations request
form or call the Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).
Through the Citizenship Resource Center, individuals can access and print large-print
versions of the Civics (History and Government) Questions for the Naturalization Test,
Civics Questions for the 65/20 Exemption, the Reading Test Vocabulary and the Writing
Test Vocabulary. Individuals can also access text-only versions of these materials for use
with screen enlargers, screen readers, refreshable braille displays, and most other
For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or
Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and Instagram (@USCIS).
The Crossroads of Iowa Eighth Annual Transcending Seminar
Crossroads of Iowa is a non-profit organization that a develops programs for women, including those in jail or prison, with a focus on mental wellness using a holistic approach. Join their next event:
What: The Crossroads of Iowa Eighth Annual Transcending Seminar
When:: Friday, January 29, 2021
Where: Grand View University Student Center, 2811 E. 14th St., Des Moines, Iowa
Visit https://www.crossroadsofiowa.org or see brochure for more information on continuing education units, fees, lunch, and parking.
HUD Awards More than $12.5 Million in Housing Counseling Grants
On October 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded more than $12.5 million in supplemental housing counseling grants. These supplemental grants will support quality housing counseling services to renters and homeowners. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies help households find affordable rental housing, offer financial literacy training, and provide foreclosure prevention counseling. These agencies also support emergency preparedness and disaster recovery efforts, assist homeless persons in finding transitional housing, and help seniors determine whether a reverse mortgage makes sense for them. Agencies in Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Muscatine, Sioux City, and Waterloo received a grant. Read full press release...
COVID-19 Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program-Application Deadline December 4, 2020
The last day to apply for the the State's Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program is December 4, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. The program will provide short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure.
Available assistance include
HHS/CDC Temporary Halt of COVID-19 Eviction
Living in a safe, stable home is important to personal health and well-being. On September 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/CDC issued a Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the further Spread of COVID-19. The Order temporarily stops residential evictions of covered persons for nonpayment of rent through December 31, 2020. The Order protects renters who meet certain requirements and who sign a declaration form and give it to the landlord.
Please note that evictions can take place if certain terms of the lease are broken. Late fees can still be charged, and the obligation to pay rent remains. The process and requirements around the moratorium and evictions can be complex. For information on how to take advantage of the moratorium, visit Iowa Legal Aid's website.
If you are unable to pay your rent, here are some resources on rental assistance, housing, and other help.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs for the winter heating season. The application period is November 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021. Customers who qualify for LIHEAP are protected from having their natural gas and electric utilities disconnected from November 1 to April 1.
Applications are taken at your local community action agency. Anyone facing disconnection at any time should contact their local community action agency for assistance.
To find your local agency, visit https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply, or contact the Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) at (515) 242-5655 or 1-800-351-4659. LIHEAP information is available in multiple languages on the DHR's website.
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
Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
MVRBC Seeking Convalescent Plasma Donations from Individuals Recovered from COVID-19
One way to help those fighting COVID? Donate plasma. Right now, our Blood Center is working hard to meet hospital demand for plasma from those recovered from COVID.
Please help spread the word; donate plasma today!
Web page: www.bloodcenter.org/cp
How to help: www.bloodcenter.org/donate/donor/covid19-response/
Convalescent Plasma: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5-9JS6ygvYzedaXKzN2nu2BiM15l_ETx
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok: @willyougive
IN THE NEWS
We’ve worked closely with our regional media to get great coverage surrounding the need for CCP (ctrl-click the links below). You can copy and paste to share:
In St. Louis
Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Holiday Season 2020
Send your letter to Santa - Get your holiday wish list ready! Christmas is around the corner, and now is the time to send your letter to Santa. This holiday season, drop your letter in the North Pole mailbox in Central Park in Fairfield.
For more information, please contact the Chamber at 641-472-2111 or Info@FairfieldIowa.com
🎶🎄🎁 You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He's making a list,
He's checking it twice,
He's gonna find out who's naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town 🎁🎄🎶
Read the article on the cancellation of the 2020 Holiday Lighting Ceremony.
Job Listings - Southeast Iowa and Surrounding Area
Employer Information (please contact individual employer for location details)
Please contact the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce for more information on additional employers: 641-472-2111 or Info@FairfieldIowa.com
Paint Iowa Beautiful Grant is NOW OPEN for Applications!
Keep Iowa Beautiful and Diamond Vogel Paint are announcing the 2021 Paint Iowa Beautiful program. The program provides free paint to a wide variety of community projects throughout Iowa. Administered through Keep Iowa Beautiful with the paint provided by the Diamond Vogel Paint Company.
“The partnership with Keep Iowa Beautiful allows Diamond Vogel to assist and work with many local volunteers that help build communities, making Iowa the number one state in the nation to live,” said Doug Vogel, Vice President, Marketing, of the Iowa based company. This is a great opportunity for Iowans to improve the attractiveness and beautiful of their community.”
Kevin Techau, Executive Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful added, “The Paint Iowa Beautiful program helps increase our assistance to communities, neighborhoods, historic projects and volunteer organizations improve attractiveness and beauty across Iowa.”
In the 18-year partnership with Keep Iowa Beautiful, Diamond Vogel has awarded over 11,165 gallons of paint for 1,000 community projects in Iowa.
The online grant application is now open to Iowans and can be completed and submitted by February 15, 2021.
Announcing the 20th Anniversary Keep Iowa Beautiful Photography Contest!
Every year, Keep Iowa Beautiful aims to raise awareness of Iowa’s rural and urban beauty with our Annual Photography Contest. The photo contest offers both amateur and experienced photographers an opportunity to tell Iowa’s story in a fun, engaging way!
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our founding this year, Keep Iowa Beautiful has created an EXPANDED photo contest that includes cash awards totaling over $2,000! We’ve also introduced FIVE new categories to the contest:
You don’t want to miss out. Grab your camera, explore the great state of Iowa, and take that winning shot! The contest submission deadline is December 18th, so don’t wait.
For contest rules and details, and to submit your own photo, visit our website.
We can’t wait to see Iowa’s beauty through your lens!
America Recycles Day is Coming!
America Recycles Day®, held on and around Nov. 15, is quickly approaching! America Recycles Day (ARD) is a Keep America Beautiful® national program and the only nationally recognized day dedicated to celebrating and promoting recycling.
This year’s theme focuses on individual recycling action and behavior. To participate, we urge you to commit to reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle on America Recycles Day – and every day – by taking the #BeRecycled Pledge. Take and share this pledge with friends, family, and colleagues here.
Downtown Dubuque Mural Honors Late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Nicaraguan artist Luis Valle feels a special connection to Ginsburg since he grew up in a family filled with women. When he received word of Justice Ginsburg’s death, he felt a need to honor her with his art. A woman offered one of her house’s walls to Valle to paint a mural honoring Justice Ginsburg, and Valle got to work!
“More than anything political, she represents something that a lot of women can look up to,” Valle said. “Somebody that was able to make it to the Supreme Court and has also fought for a lot of women’s rights and fought for a lot of minorities.”
The mural shows a halo around Justice Ginsburg. Valle said this represents his belief that she is looking down and protecting those on Earth.
Iowa Derelict Building Grant Process
The Derelict Building Program, available through the Iowa DNR is available for Iowa towns for 5,000 or fewer residents’ to address neglected commercial or public structures that have sat vacant for at least 6 months.
The Program’s main focus is landfill diversion through the recycling and reuse of building materials and the elimination of hazards both inside and out posed by these empty structures. Since the establishment of the program in 2011 through 2019, the program has assisted 153 communities, diverted over 70,604 tons of materials and saved over $2.6 million in landfill disposal costs.
FY22 application deadline is Friday, February 26, 2021 for applicants who are seeking funding assistance with conducting asbestos inspections, asbestos abatement, structural engineering analysis, phase I and phase II site assessments, building deconstruction and building renovation expenses.
Learn more about the Derelict Building Program on the Iowa DNR website:
Check Out the New Sign in Laurens!
You Can Stop Litter!
When you see litter happening on Iowa’s roadways from a vehicle, Call 1-888-665-4887
Please provide as much detail about the incident as possible:
Call 1.888.NOLITTR (1-888-665-4887) to report littering from a vehicle.
Social Media Submissions
Keep Iowa Beautiful wants to share your community’s good news!
Are you proud of a completed project in your town? Do you want to show off a new mural in your downtown? Did you host a fun, exciting event for your community? We want to know about it!
Click on the button below to share short descriptions of events, projects, or news from your town! You can include pictures and captions as well. Keep Iowa Beautiful will share your post on our social media!
Your Support Matters!
Keep Iowa Beautiful is a non-profit organization and, as such, relies on your support to ensure the success of our environmental education and community outreach programs.
Donations will help KIB's efforts to support our community. Any amount is valued and appreciated.
Donations can be made online or checks can be mailed to our office:
Keep Iowa Beautiful
2910 Westown Pkwy #302,
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Des Moines, Iowa – November 10, 2020 – The Iowa Department of Revenue is issuing updated income tax withholding formulas and tables for 2021 to continue to align Iowa withholding with recent changes in state tax laws.
For individuals, this means that employers will be reducing the amount of Iowa tax withheld from employees’ paychecks, beginning January 1, 2021, increasing take-home wages for individuals.
Prior to 2019, withholding tables had remained unchanged since 2006. Changes to the withholding tables are intended to align the amount of income tax employers remit to the state with individual income tax cuts included in SF 2417, an extensive state tax reform bill signed into law by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in the spring of 2018. Since 2019, the Department has been adjusting the withholding formulas and tables as needed to reflect the phasing in of Iowa tax reform.
Employers can find the new Iowa 2021 withholding formulas and tables online.
The Department has updated the online Withholding Calculator to help individuals calculate their 2021 withholding amounts. As a reminder, employers will update withholding amounts starting January 1, 2021 but employees can also make changes to their Iowa W-4 (withholding) form by contacting their employer.
Employers with questions can contact the Department at 515-281-3114 or 800-367-3388.
Donation Box - Iowa Veterans Home
Honoring those who served.
Items needed (new only) - Donations accepted until November 22nd, 2020
Organized by Fairfield Elks Lodge #1192 in coordination with the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, serving over 400 veterans.
Donations will be delivered the week of Thanksgiving.
For more information or ideas on how you can help, please call 641-233-8294!
Jefferson County Public Health
The goal of this pandemic response since March was to “flatten the curve.”
This process was implemented so we did not overwhelm our healthcare systems with acutely ill individuals.
For the first time in this long, exhausting, pandemic response, Jefferson County is facing the surge of pandemic spread and illness.
For those reasons I have recommend and will continue to recommend best practices identified by the CDC and IDPH:
*Wear a mask/face covering
*Stay home when even mildly ill
*Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/upper arm
*Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Individual actions impact the health of the public. Large or small actions have a positive or negative impact on others.
As with any communicable disease process, humans build anti-bodies the following ways: by exposure without illness, by exposure with illness or by vaccinations. The reality of all communicable illness, is that at some point we will all be exposed to or potentially become ill from COVID-19. Thus, “flattening the curve.”
Jefferson County Public Health and community partners have been diligently working with pandemic preparedness for COVID-19 since January 2020.
Thank you for your continued support with this on-going response. Now more than ever come together for the greater good and the health of our community.
Iowa Department of Public Health
Summary of Enhanced Public Health Measures Effective
Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 12:01 a.m. until Monday, Nov. 30 at 11:59 p.m.
Gathering Restrictions: Social, community, recreational, or leisure
● If more than 10 people:
○ 6 feet distancing between groups
○ Groups limited to 8 people, with the exception of households larger than 8
○ Take other reasonable measures to ensure social distancing, increase hygiene, etc.
● If more than 25 people and indoors, all participants over 2 years old must wear masks except when eating and drinking.
● If more than 100 people and outdoors, all participants over 2 years old must wear masks except when eating and drinking.
● All these restrictions apply to wedding receptions, including distancing, group limitations, and mask requirement if event is sufficiently large
Youth and High School Sports:
● If more than 25 people and indoors, all spectators over 2 years old must wear masks and maintain 6 feet distance from other spectators
● Only two spectators permitted for each youth athlete
● Athletes of any age can be closer than six feet and are not required to wear masks
Restaurants and Bars: Restaurant or bar, including a wedding reception venue, winery, brewery, distillery, country club, or other social or fraternal club
● Six feet distancing between groups
● Groups limited to 8 people unless larger group is all same household
● Seated when eating or drinking and limit congregating
Personal Service Establishments: Salons, barbershops, massage therapy establishments, tattoo establishments, and tanning facilities
● Ensure that all customers are six feet apart when performing services
● Mandated to wear masks, except when performing face services
Closer/Prolonged Contact Establishments: Bowling alleys, pool halls, bingo halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds, children’s play centers
● Ensure that groups and individuals are six feet apart at establishment
●Groups limited to eight people unless larger group is all same household
Remote Working/Other Employer Measures: All employers shall evaluate whether any more of their employees can feasibly work remotely and to the extent reasonable, shall take steps to enable such employees to work from home. Those remaining open shall take other reasonable precautions.