Tax group tries restart with Tegeler
The Polk-Des Moines Taxpayers Association, now 90 years old, was showing signs of wear. It had 300 members back in the 1970s and ’80s, according to organization president Marc Ward, but the website now lists just 58.
Ward said the association went to business leaders this winter to get their opinion about whether it should continue. He said the response was positive, and that some leaders stepped up with promises of financial support.
With that encouragement, the association went out and landed Gretchen Tegeler as its new executive director, a woman who has top-notch credentials for the job. Just a couple of months ago, the Iowa Taxpayers Association honored Tegeler with its annual Linda S. Weindruch Award, which recognizes a body of accomplishments in the field of business taxation.
She built her reputation with key positions in state government, spending eight years as director of the Iowa Department of Management and serving as Gov. Terry Branstad’s chief of staff in 1998-99.
Now Branstad is back in power, and the taxpayers association has a leader with access.
We sat down with Tegeler and Ward this week, and they were brimming with ideas to revitalize the group. They plan to invite businesses and individuals from Dallas and Warren counties to join, creating more of a regional effort. Within six months, they want to hold a summit meeting of members and “innovative local officials” to establish priorities.
Tegeler said she plans to meet with elected and administrative officials “who have been pioneers” in areas that affect taxation. She said, “There are many local organizations that would work with government and be paid from the cost savings.”
It’s an ideal time to rejuvenate this organization, with so much discussion of spending and taxes at both the state and national levels. We encourage Central Iowa businesses to check out the Polk-Des Moines association and look for ways to become involved.