Legislative News

"This is Iowa" Legislative Showcase Big Success

The Travel Federation of Iowa and Professional Developers of Iowa spent the evening of January 30 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines Iowa showcasing "This is Iowa."

Special thanks to the Iowa tourism and economic development industry members who showcased the positive impact we make on the State of Iowa, and shared their stories with State Legislators.

Steve Shupp, PDI Board Member, Drew Kamp, PDI Legislative Co-Chair and Craig Patterson, PDI Lobbyist review the hot topics and PDI's positions in preparation for the Legislative Showcase.

PDI Members listen for up-to-date information about PDI's 2018 Legislative Agenda before meeting with legislators.

TIF Video and Intro

The Professional Developers of Iowa have long been ardent supporters of the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for local economic development projects throughout the state. It is a critical economic and community development tool that has proven time and again to benefit local communities and has improved the quality of life and community vitality throughout the state. TIF needs to continue to be protected from legislative proposals that seek to strip it of its strength, flexibility, and overall impact. Each of our communities has a story that positively highlights the importance and power of tax increment financing, and we need to ensure we these stories are being heard throughout the Capitol as Legislators consider the fate of tax increment financing. To this end, Nick Glew, President of the Marion Economic Development Corporation, has created a video illustrating the positive impact and community benefits of TIF, which is very helpful to any economic developer needing assistance in understanding and advocating for this critical economic development tool.
Watch Nick's Video >>

Backfill Coalition

With the Iowa budget in such dire straits recently, one of the questions that keeps getting raised is whether or not the Legislature will attempt to end or phase-out the Property Tax Backfill. This was an agreement made during the passage of the 2013 property tax reduction bill to make cities, counties and schools districts partially whole for any reduction they experienced as a result of the bill. The backfill was capped at $150 million; in FY2018, $53.6 million goes to cities, $29.2 million to counties, $59.3 million goes to schools, $339k goes to townships, and $9.7 million goes to other taxing bodies such as cemeteries, fire districts or extension offices.

Former Governor Branstad was a stalwart defender of the backfill since he pushed hard for the passage of the 2013 bill. When Governor Reynolds took the reins, there was some uncertainty about whether she would hold the same opinion of the backfill. Those questions were largely answered when she submitted her budget proposal - Governor Reynolds' budget fully funds the backfill in FY2019 and makes no mention of a phase-out, studying a phase-out, etc. Some legislators have indicated they may look into the future of the backfill, but we have not seen any formal legislation to do so.

As you may know, PDI is on record as supporting the continuation of the backfill. What can you do?

  1. Please take some time to reach out to your legislators to indicate your support for maintaining the backfill. You can find your State Legislators here.
  2. Consider whether or not your organization individually wants to sign on publicly as a supporter of the backfill. The Iowa League of Cities is keeping a list of organizations that wish to be "on record" as supporting the continuation of the backfill. If you wish to join the list, send an email to the League's Director of Government Affairs Robert Palmer at robertpalmer@iowaleague.org.

If you need background information about the backfill, please contact PDI’s Lobbyist Craig Patterson at craig@ialobby.com, or PDI Legislative Committee Co-Chairs Drew Kamp at drew@ameschamber.com, Kiley Miller at kmiller@lakescorridor.com, or Kelly Halsted at Kelly@greaterfortdodge.com.