PDI Blog

The Presidential Post - February 27, 2015


By Jason Hutcheson, PDI President

Jason Hutcheson
PDI President

Fuel Tax Signed Into Law

Isn't it great when something gets accomplished?

After years of expressing concern over funding for Iowa's roads and bridges, the Iowa Legislature and Governor Branstad finally took action and passed a 10 cent fuel tax increase in February. The increase goes into effect on March 1st, and your community and county should begin receiving more money for necessary infrastructure upgrades and maintenance with just a few months.

Much like commercial and industrial property tax reform, PDI, along with many other partners, worked diligently for many years in order for action to be taken. We were unsuccessful session after session, yet we continued having those tough conversations. Each year, our consistent messaging moved the needle forward.

The lesson: we can not give up on the tough issues.

The fuel tax was both an emotionally charged and politically heated conversation. Tensions have been high, and legislative leaders took unusual steps to ensure the fuel tax would receive enough votes. While passage was bipartisan, it was anything but unanimous.

I would suggest that PDI members have two obligations following the passage of the fuel tax:

  • Look up your legislator's voting record on this bill (search the legislature's website for SF257). If your legislators voted for SF257, send them a personal thank you note. In addition, I would suggest sending hand written notes to Speaker Paulsen, Minority Leader Smith, Majority Leader Gronstal, Minority Leader Dix, and Governor Branstad. All have taken heat for this issue, and we have an obligation to thank them for their leadership.


  • Work with your local elected leadership to understand the new revenue's impact on streets, roads and bridges in your community. Will the money be used to fill potholes, repave necessary corridors, reopen a bridge, or some combination of all of the above? While $200+ in new revenue will not be a windfall for local governments, it will be new revenue. The tax-paying public needs to understand the benefits of this tax increase. PDI members can assist by sharing that message.

Kudos to our lobbying team at Campbell/Patterson and the leaders of PDI's legislative committee. Your efforts have paid off.

Save The Date — PDI's Spring Event

Join PDI on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 1:00 — 7:30 pm (In conjunction with SMART Conference on May 7, 2015) at the Farm Bureau Auditorium, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, IA for PDI's Spring Event.

Registration Fee: $100 for members / Registration info

Draft Agenda:

1:00 - 1:30 Welcome/ PDI and Legislative Update...Jason Hutcheson and Craig Patterson
1:30 - 2:30 Professional Development Session — "Time Management — Balancing Work and Life" with Theresa Bornbach, Cedar Rapids, Metro Economic Alliance, Cedar Rapids, IA
2:45 - 3:45 Corporate Panel on perspective of Site Selection: Speakers: Stan Gibson, Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group, West Des Moines, IA; Warren Wood, DuPont Pioneer; David Hemming, Precision Tank and Equipment (Humboldt, IA); and Mark Laurenzo, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA, Moderator
3:45 - 4:45 Economic Developers...Best Practices: Speakers: Kelly Halsted, Greater Fort Dodge Alliance, Fort Dodge, IA; Chris McGowen, Siouxland Initiative, Sioux City, IA; Jeff Kolb, Butler County Development Corp, Allison, IA; and Michael Gould, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA, Moderator 
5:30 - 7:30 Reception (SMART VIP's invited)

Reception: Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

Registration Fee: $100 for members
Registration Information >>


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