House File 94 - Reprinted HOUSE FILE 94 BY COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT (SUCCESSOR TO HF 6) (As Amended and Passed by the House January 27, 2011 ) A BILL FOR An Act requiring the development of a searchable budget 1 database and internet site for the public to access the 2 details of the expenditure of state tax revenues and a 3 searchable tax rate database and internet site for the 4 public to access the details of each tax rate for all taxing 5 districts in the state. 6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 7 HF 94 (4) 84 tw/sc
H.F. 94 Section 1. Section 8.6, Code 2011, is amended by adding the 1 following new subsection: 2 NEW SUBSECTION . 9A. Budget and tax rate databases. To 3 develop and make available to the public a searchable budget 4 database and internet site as required under chapter 8G, 5 division I, and to develop and make available to the public 6 a searchable tax rate database and internet site as required 7 under chapter 8G, division II. 8 Sec. 2. Section 8A.502, subsection 9, Code 2011, is amended 9 by striking the subsection. 10 Sec. 3. NEW SECTION . 8G.1 Intent —— findings. 11 The general assembly finds that taxpayers should be able to 12 easily access the details on how the state is spending their 13 tax dollars and the performance results achieved for those 14 expenditures. Therefore, it is the intent of the general 15 assembly to direct the department of management to create 16 and maintain a searchable budget database and internet site 17 detailing where tax dollars are expended, the purposes for 18 which tax dollars are expended, and the results achieved for 19 all taxpayer investments in state government. 20 Sec. 4. NEW SECTION . 8G.2 Short title. 21 This subchapter shall be known as and may be cited as the 22 “Taxpayer Transparency Act” . 23 Sec. 5. NEW SECTION . 8G.3 Definitions. 24 As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise 25 requires: 26 1. “Agency” means a state department, office, board, 27 commission, bureau, division, institution, or public 28 institution of higher education. “Agency” includes individual 29 state agencies and programs, as well as those programs and 30 activities that are administered by or involve more than one 31 agency. “Agency” includes all elective offices in the executive 32 branch of government and the general assembly. “Agency” 33 includes the judicial branch of state government. 34 2. “Director” means the director of the department of 35 -1- HF 94 (4) 84 tw/sc 1/ 6
H.F. 94 management. 1 3. “Entity” or “recipients” means any of the following: 2 a. A corporation. 3 b. An association. 4 c. An employee union. 5 d. A limited liability company. 6 e. A limited liability partnership. 7 f. Any other legal business entity, including nonprofit 8 entities. 9 g. A grant recipient. 10 h. Contractors. 11 i. A county, city, school district, or other local 12 government entity. 13 “Entity” or “recipients” does not include an individual 14 recipient of state assistance. The department of management 15 shall define by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 17A the 16 meaning of the term “individual recipient of state assistance” . 17 4. “Funding action or expenditure” includes details on the 18 type of spending that is provided including but not limited 19 to grants, contracts, and appropriations. “Funding action 20 or expenditure” includes tax exemptions or credits. Where 21 possible, an electronic link to the actual grants or contracts 22 shall be provided. An electronic link shall be in a format 23 that is a searchable document. 24 5. “Funding source” means the state account or fund from 25 which the expenditure is appropriated. 26 6. “Searchable internet site” means an internet site 27 that allows the public at no cost to search and compile the 28 information identified in section 8G.4 and that provides such 29 information in a format capable of being downloaded from the 30 site to personal computers. 31 7. “State audit or report” shall include any audit or report 32 issued by the auditor of state, department of management, 33 legislative services agency, legislative committee, or 34 executive body relating to the entity or recipient of funds, 35 -2- HF 94 (4) 84 tw/sc 2/ 6
H.F. 94 the budget program or activity, or agency. 1 8. “Tax exemption or credit” means an exclusion from 2 the operation or collection of a tax imposed in this state. 3 Tax exemption or credit includes tax credits, exemptions, 4 deductions, and rebates. “Tax exemption or credit” also 5 includes sales tax refunds if such refunds are applied for and 6 granted as a form of financial assistance, including but not 7 limited to the refunds allowed in sections 15.331A and 423.4. 8 9. “Taxing jurisdiction” means a political subdivision 9 of the state with the authority to levy taxes. Taxing 10 jurisdiction includes but is not limited to a city, a county, a 11 school district, and a township. 12 Sec. 6. NEW SECTION . 8G.4 Searchable budget database 13 internet site created. 14 1. By January 1, 2013, the director shall develop and make 15 publicly available a database internet site for searching, 16 accessing, and processing data, including the data required in 17 this section, for the most recent state budget. The internet 18 site shall be developed in such a way that the information can 19 be provided to other software applications, including internet 20 software applications, in a manner and format that allows such 21 software applications to access and interpret the data using 22 the internal programming of the software applications. 23 2. The searchable internet site developed pursuant to this 24 section shall allow the public at no cost to search and compile 25 the information provided pursuant to this subsection. Each 26 state agency shall provide the following: 27 a. Name of the entity or recipient of state funds. 28 b. Amount of state funds expended. 29 c. Funding or expending agency. 30 d. Funding source. 31 e. Budget program or activity of the expenditure. 32 f. Descriptive purpose for the funding action or 33 expenditure. 34 g. Expected performance outcome for the funding action or 35 -3- HF 94 (4) 84 tw/sc 3/ 6
H.F. 94 expenditure, to the extent that such information is available 1 and can be provided. 2 h. Past performance outcomes achieved for the funding 3 action or expenditure, to the extent that such information is 4 available and can be provided. 5 i. State audit or report relating to the entity or recipient 6 of state funds or the budget program or activity or agency. 7 j. Any other relevant information specified by the director. 8 2A. a. In providing information pursuant to this section 9 on tax exemptions or credits, the department of revenue shall 10 do the following: 11 (1) Provide aggregate information for those tax exemptions 12 or credits that are claimed by individual taxpayers. 13 (2) Provide the information described in subsection 2 for 14 those tax exemptions or credits that are awarded by an agency. 15 (3) Adhere to all applicable confidentiality provisions to 16 the extent possible while complying with the requirements of 17 this section. 18 b. An agency awarding tax exemptions or credits shall 19 provide to the department of revenue any information the 20 department may request regarding such exemptions or credits. 21 3. This section does not apply to local governments. 22 Sec. 7. NEW SECTION . 8G.5 Internet site updates. 23 1. Effective July 1, 2013, the internet site shall be 24 updated regularly as new data and information become available, 25 but shall be updated no less frequently than annually within 26 thirty days following the close of the state fiscal year. In 27 addition, the director may update the internet site as new data 28 becomes available. All agencies shall provide to the director 29 data that is required to be included on the internet site not 30 later than thirty days after the data becomes available to the 31 agency. The director shall provide guidance to agency heads 32 or the governing body of an agency to ensure compliance with 33 this section. 34 2. By January 1, 2014, the director shall add data for 35 -4- HF 94 (4) 84 tw/sc 4/ 6
H.F. 94 the previous budgets to the internet site. Data for previous 1 fiscal years may be added as it becomes available and as time 2 permits. The director shall ensure that all data added to the 3 internet site remain accessible to the public for a minimum of 4 ten years. 5 Sec. 8. NEW SECTION . 8G.6 Noncompliance. 6 The director shall not be considered in compliance with this 7 subchapter if the data required for the internet site is not 8 available in a searchable manner and capable of being compiled 9 or if the public is redirected to other government internet 10 sites unless each of those sites displays information from 11 all agencies and each category of information required can be 12 searched electronically by field in a single search. 13 Sec. 9. NEW SECTION . 8G.10 Intent —— findings. 14 The general assembly finds that increasing the ease of 15 public access to state and local tax rates, particularly 16 where the rates are currently available from disparate 17 government sources and are difficult for the public to collect 18 and efficiently aggregate, significantly contributes to 19 governmental accountability, public participation, and the 20 understanding of the cost of government services. Therefore, 21 it is the intent of the general assembly to direct the 22 department of management, in consultation with the department 23 of revenue, to create and maintain a searchable database and 24 internet site of each tax rate for all taxing jurisdictions in 25 the state to make citizen access to state and local tax rates 26 as open, transparent, and publicly accessible as is feasible. 27 Sec. 10. NEW SECTION . 8G.11 Short title. 28 This subchapter shall be known and cited as the “Taxation 29 Disclosure Act” . 30 Sec. 11. NEW SECTION . 8G.12 Tax rate database. 31 1. Searchable tax rate database. By January 1, 2012, the 32 department of management, in consultation with the department 33 of revenue, shall make publicly available on an internet 34 site a searchable database of all tax rates in the state for 35 -5- HF 94 (4) 84 tw/sc 5/ 6
H.F. 94 each taxing jurisdiction. The information shall include all 1 applicable tax types imposed in the taxing jurisdiction and 2 shall be organized, presented, and accessible, to the extent 3 possible, by county, city, and physical address for each 4 residency or business. Individual tax levies shall be further 5 specified within each tax rate. 6 2. Geographical tax rate map. In addition to searching for 7 tax rates in the manner described in subsection 1, searches 8 shall be accommodated by a geographical tax rate map of the 9 state that is capable of being displayed with a level of 10 specificity corresponding to each taxing jurisdiction. 11 3. Individual tax rate calculator. Tax rate calculators 12 shall be provided on the searchable database to allow citizens 13 and businesses to calculate taxes based on the location of the 14 citizen or business. Calculation capability shall be provided 15 at a minimum for property, sales, use, income, vehicle, and 16 business taxes and shall be specific to the rate for the taxing 17 jurisdiction identified by the citizen or business. 18 Sec. 12. NEW SECTION . 8G.13 Updating database. 19 To facilitate the department of management’s efforts in 20 creating and maintaining a searchable database of the taxes 21 identified in section 8G.12, subsection 3, for all taxing 22 jurisdictions in the state, each taxing jurisdiction may 23 annually be required to report its tax rates to the department 24 of management or the department of revenue and shall report any 25 changes to its tax rates within thirty days of the change. 26 -6- HF 94 (4) 84 tw/sc 6/ 6