Fireworks Legalized in Iowa
Just in time for the July 4th holiday, fireworks are now legal in Iowa. Fireworks can be sold from June 1st to July 8th and from December 10th to January 3rd annually. Fireworks can be used between 9 am and 10 pm but extended periods are allowed around the July 4th holiday and New Year’s.
While no local government can limit the sale of fireworks, the bill does allow a city council or board of supervisors to limit or prohibit the use of fireworks. Local officials can prohibit the use of fireworks entirely in their jurisdiction or may place specific limits, such as limiting when fireworks can be used. Fireworks are prohibited in state parks and preserves unless authorized by a permit from the state. Fireworks also cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18.
Retailers and community groups that want to sell fireworks must be licensed by the state fire marshal. In addition, any retailer must sell fireworks in accordance with the national fire protection standards on the manufacture, transportation, storage, and retail sales of fireworks. Retailers must also have at least $1 million of per occurrence insurance and $2 million of aggregate coverage.
First Time Homebuyers Savings Accounts Created
Iowans saving for their first home have a new opportunity. The Legislature created Iowa First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts that give tax advantages for saving towards a first home. Homebuyers can save up to $2,000 individually or $4,000 for a married couple that can then be subtracted from the taxpayers net individual income for tax purposes. These amounts are increased annually based on inflation.
Accounts can be opened with any financial institution. Funds must be used within 10 years for a qualifying home purchase. An account may be opened in the name of the first-time homebuyer, similar to a college savings account. Accounts must be open at least 90 days before being used for a qualified home purchase.
A qualifying first-time homebuyer is any resident of Iowa that does not own a single-family or multifamily residence and has not owned such a residence for three years prior. Account holders must submit an annual report to the Department of Revenue with the account holder’s Iowan income tax return. The forms will be produced by the Department of Revenue.
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