Courtney M. Kay-Decker

Of Counsel
220 North Main Street, Suite 600, Davenport, IA 52801 (563) 333-6677

Education and Experience

Northwestern University (B.A., Economics, 1994)
University of Iowa College of Law (J.D., with distinction, 1997)
Director, Iowa Department of Revenue (2011-2019)



  • Iowa - 1997
  • Illinois - 1998

Professional Associations

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Iowa State Bar Association
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member, Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee to the Internal Revenue Services, Washington, D.C. (September 2017-June 2019, Vice-Chairperson September 2020 - Present)
  • Past member, Senior Executive Board of Identity Theft and Tax Refund Fraud Information Sharing Analysis Center Partnership, Washington, D.C. (January 2017-January 2019)
  • Past board member, Federation of Tax Administrators, Washington, D.C. (March 2017 - January 2019)



  • Tax Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform (2017)      

For leading the effort to reform Iowa’s unclear manufacturing supplies sales tax exemption, gathering input to define precisely how it applies, adopting administrative regulations, and working with legislators to codify the change.

  • Federation of Tax Administrators Award for Outstanding Research and Analysis to Iowa Department of Revenue (2017)

For implementation of the Tax Credit Award, Claim and Transfer Administration System (CACTAS), a statewide system that collects and tracks tax credit award information across many state agencies. The CACTAS database currently has information on 13 credit programs involving 17 different state agencies. 

  • Midwest States Association of Tax Administrators Service Award (2014) and Center for Digital Government Award for Achievement in Government-to-Government Service (2015) to Iowa Department of Revenue

Both awards for implementation of property tax reform through “TheLocalGovExchange” web portal, allowing local assessors, auditors and treasurers and the Iowa Department of Revenue to seamlessly exchange assessment and property tax data in real time.

  • Iowa Business Council Partners in Efficiency Award to Iowa Department of Revenue (2012)

For modernizing billing adjustment processes to reduce turnaround time from over 30 days to one day, improving the ability to determine the status of a taxpayer’s debt when a tax return is filed after an assessment.



  • Trustee, Rivermont Collegiate (2007-2013)
  • President, Board of Trustees of Rivermont Collegiate (2009-2013)
  • Member, John Deere Classic Board of Directors (2008-2011)

Courtney Kay-Decker joined Lane & Waterman LLP in 1998 and rejoined the firm in 2019 after an eight-year hiatus leading the Iowa Department of Revenue.  Her experience in the public and private sectors informs her collaborative approach to the practice of law.  Her areas of practice include tax and administrative matters.  Her unique experiences in identity theft tax fraud prevention allow her to share “cyber hygiene” advice as well.

Decker was appointed in 2011 by then-Governor Terry E. Branstad to serve as Director of the Iowa Department of Revenue.  She continued in that role until January 2019.  During her tenure with the Department, Decker focused on improving administrative rules, guidance, and processes to simplify and reduce compliance burdens for the taxpayers of Iowa.  During her tenure as Director of Revenue, Decker served on the Board of Trustees of the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Courtney is active in various endeavors to prevent identity theft and tax refund fraud.  In particular, she served as the first State Co-Chair of the Identity Theft and Tax Refund Fraud Information Sharing Analysis Center Partnership, a collaboration among the Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies, and industry that works to develop tools and protocols to detect and prevent identity theft tax refund fraud.  She recently completed her tenure as member of the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee to the IRS.

Decker received her B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.  She holds a doctor of jurisprudence with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Prior to her government service, Decker was a partner at Lane & Waterman LLP, practicing in transactional and tax related matters.  She served as a member of the Iowa State Board of Tax Review from 2000-2007 and was Chair of the Board from 2003-2007.

Decker is licensed to practice law in Iowa and Illinois.