Non-profit

Iowa Policy Project

Website:

www.iowapolicyproject.org

Location:

IOWA CITY, IA

Tax ID:

42-1512708

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $200,803
Expenses: $274,781
Assets: $59,431

Formation:

2001

Founder:

David Osterberg

The Iowa Policy Project (IPP) is a left-of-center advocacy group that conducts research on areas of the environment, tax and budgets, family issues, and economic prosperity specific to the state of Iowa. It is a member of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) coalition backed by the labor-union aligned Economic Policy Institute. [1]

The IPP joined with the Child and Family Policy Center in Des Moines to form the Iowa Fiscal Partnership in 2003;[2] Iowa Fiscal Partnership is affiliated with the State Priorities Partnership, which is coordinated by the left-of-center Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. [3]

The Des Moines Register refers to the IPP as a “liberal think tank based in Iowa City,” due to the organization’s support of liberal policies. [4] Also, the Sioux City Journal refers to the IPP as a “a liberal-leaning nonprofit public policy research and analysis organization in Iowa City.” [5] The organization has taken funding from prominent left-of-center organizations, including the Iowa state council of the AFSCME government worker union,[6] the McKnight Foundation, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. [7]

Activities

Environment

Iowa Policy Project released a report authored by James Boulter, an associate professor of chemistry in the Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire that alleges Iowa has become hotter and wetter, which he (and the IPP) attributed to climate change. Boulter’s report is available through the IPP’s website and it was funded by a grant from the left-of-center environmentalist group Environmental Defense Fund in concert with the Iowa Policy Project. [8]

Taxes and Budget

Iowa Policy Project vocally advocates for social programs and monetary aid.

Iowa allows companies starting businesses or creating jobs to receive tax subsidies to attract them to the state. IPP does not support businesses receiving tax subsidies, as was the case when a $3 billion fertilizer company opened a plant in the state and received tax subsidies in response to creating jobs. Mike Owen, the executive director of the IPP, called the subsidies given by the state an “expensive boondoggle” and “we do have a precedent for poor negotiation and stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars that Iowa should not repeat.” [9]

Labor Unions

The IPP works to produce reports supporting expanded privileges for organized labor unions. The IPP concluded from a 2011 study that “public workers’ compensation misses the mark on accuracy because they don’t make apples-to-apples comparisons,” supporting the notion that unionized government workers should be paid more. [10]

Iowa Policy Project endorsed a liberal campaign to recognize September as Labor Union Appreciation Month to promote the interests of organized labor. In a statement from Mike Owen, executive director of the IPP, “every month should be Labor Union Appreciation Month, just as every day is really Labor Day. People work every day, and we all depend on that. We will only truly demonstrate our appreciation when we use public policy to make sure everyone is paid adequately, that they are paid what they are owed, they are protected on the job, that their families have health care, and that they have an opportunity for a secure retirement.” [11]

The IPP releases an annual Cost of Living in Iowa report. The 2019 report showed that the “number of families who did not receive public assistance had trouble paying bills increased.” [12] In order to help these families, the IPP suggested within their report that Iowa lawmakers create more government programs, raise the state’s minimum wage increase privileges for labor unions in collective bargaining. [13]

Financials

The IPP is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. It reported $313,934 in expenditures in its 2014 fiscal year and $274,781 in 2015. [14] The organization reported 4 employees and no volunteers,[15]  with the executive director, Michael Owen, being paid $63,084 and receiving an additional $16,725 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations. [16] The organization received no money from the U.S. government in 2015. [17]

The organization is funded by various sources including liberal foundations like the McKnight Foundation, the Stoneman Family Foundations, and the Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Foundation; national liberal groups, most prominently the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and labor unions including the AFSCME Council 61 government worker union. [18]

Previous funders include liberal foundations such as the Joyce Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the Northwest Area Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the Retirement Research Foundation as well as government agencies such as the Iowa Finance Authority and the United States Department of Labor. [19]

References

  1. “Who We Are.” Iowa Policy Project. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://www.iowapolicyproject.org/WhoWeAre.html ^
  2. Iowa Fiscal Partnership. Accessed October 16, 2019. http://www.iowafiscal.org ^
  3. “Who We Are.” Iowa Policy Project. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://www.iowapolicyproject.org/WhoWeAre.html ^
  4. Petroski, William and Pfannenstiel, Brianne. “Health Insurance May Be Scrapped from Collective Bargaining Under Branstad Plan.” The Des Moines Register. November 21, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2019. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/get-access/?return=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.desmoinesregister.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2F2016%2F11%2F21%2Fstate-iowa-wants-remove-health-insurance-collective-bargaining%2F94220250%2F ^
  5. Boshart, Rod. “Iowa Experts Sound Alarm on Extreme Weather, From Flooding to Drought.” September 5, 2019. Accessed October 10, 2019. https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa-experts-sound-alarm-on-extreme-weather-from-flooding-to/article_dd479126-8b28-5b8c-8298-b74a050d5758.html ^
  6. AFSCME Leadership Council 61 (Department of Labor File Number 513-272), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2018, Schedules 15 and 16 ^
  7. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted October 28, 2019. ^
  8. Boshart, Rod. “Iowa Experts Sound Alarm on Extreme Weather, From Flooding to Drought.” September 5, 2019. Accessed October 10, 2019. https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa-experts-sound-alarm-on-extreme-weather-from-flooding-to/article_dd479126-8b28-5b8c-8298-b74a050d5758.html ^
  9. Eller, Donnelle. “Is Iowa’s New $3B Fertilizer Plant Worth $110M in State Subsidies?” Des Moines Register. April 19, 2017. Accessed October 22, 2019. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/2017/04/20/iowas-new-3-b-fertilizer-plant-worth-110-m-state-subsidies/305508001/ ^
  10. Petroski, William and Pfannenstiel, Brianne. “Health Insurance May Be Scrapped from Collective Bargaining Under Branstad Plan.” The Des Moines Register. November 21, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2019. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/get-access/?return=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.desmoinesregister.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2F2016%2F11%2F21%2Fstate-iowa-wants-remove-health-insurance-collective-bargaining%2F94220250%2F ^
  11. Bradley, Dave. “Iowans Declare September Labor Union Appreciation Month.” Blog for Iowa. August 31, 2019. Accessed October 19, 2019. https://blogforiowa.com/2019/08/31/iowans-declare-september-labor-union-appreciation-month/ ^
  12. Friestad, Thomas. “Study shows 1 in 5 working Iowa families struggle to meet basic needs.” Cedar Rapids Gazette. September 24, 2019. Accessed October 15, 2019. https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/study-shows-in-working-iowa-families-struggle-to-meet-basic/article_b39bad5c-ce00-5b1a-b59b-2abe62e44af0.html#tncms-source=infinity-scroll-summary-siderail-latest ^
  13. Friestad, Thomas. “Study shows 1 in 5 working Iowa families struggle to meet basic needs.” Cedar Rapids Gazette. September 24, 2019. Accessed October 15, 2019. https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/study-shows-in-working-iowa-families-struggle-to-meet-basic/article_b39bad5c-ce00-5b1a-b59b-2abe62e44af0.html#tncms-source=infinity-scroll-summary-siderail-latest ^
  14. Iowa Policy Project, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015, Part 1 Line 18. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/421512708/2017_03_EO%2F42-1512708_990_201606 ^
  15. Iowa Policy Project, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015, Part 1 Line 5 & 6. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/421512708/2017_03_EO%2F42-1512708_990_201606 ^
  16. ] Iowa Policy Project, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015, Part VII, Section A. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/421512708/2017_03_EO%2F42-1512708_990_201606 ^
  17. Iowa Policy Project, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015, Part VIII Line 1e. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/421512708/2017_03_EO%2F42-1512708_990_201606 ^
  18. “Who We Are.” Iowa Policy Project. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://www.iowapolicyproject.org/WhoWeAre.html ^
  19. “Who We Are.” Iowa Policy Project. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://www.iowapolicyproject.org/WhoWeAre.html ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2001

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Jun Form 990 $200,803 $274,781 $59,431 $2,395 N $181,425 $0 $248 $82,023 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $281,726 $313,934 $131,628 $612 N $254,805 $0 $430 $79,901 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $342,789 $355,626 $162,204 $2,930 N $338,985 $0 $804 $85,677 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $339,818 $396,850 $177,642 $5,531 N $335,918 $0 $900 $127,336 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $393,031 $572,894 $249,527 $20,384 N $391,549 $0 $1,482 $94,176 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $464,278 $594,319 $400,940 $17,454 N $461,856 $0 $2,422 $92,975 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Iowa Policy Project

    20 E MARKET ST
    IOWA CITY, IA 52245-1737