Growing Iowa and Creating Economic Opportunity
PDI members passionately support continuation of business tax credits including the Research Activities Credit, Angel Investor Tax Credit, Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit, Redevelopment Tax Credits, Workforce Housing Tax Credits, and the High-Quality Jobs Program.
PDI supports additional income tax reform that continues to improve Iowa’s competitive position
, is growth oriented
, is simple and understandable
, provides predictability, certainty
, and permanence
, is fair
, and has a clear transition path to implementation
, all while protecting and maintaining local control
of city, school, and county government.
Workforce Recruitment and Retention
While sustaining support for career technical education programs, business and community tax credit programs, Empower Rural Iowa, and Future Ready Iowa, the Governor and Legislature should explore other means of recruiting and retaining workers. These may include programs targeting specific professions, student loan forgiveness, childcare assistance programs, placemaking initiatives, income tax rebates, student loan debt, and other incentives to keep people in Iowa
and drive population growth
Water quality and quality of place initiatives in Iowa must be improved for both the health and enjoyment of future generations. Any water quality solution must enhance quality of life and become a direct solution for addressing Iowa’s critical workforce challenge. Within the water quality discussion, the Governor and Legislature should also address the critical need for funding for local infrastructure.
FURTHER ACTIONS TO DRIVE JOB CREATION AND WEALTH IN IOWA
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLS
Programs, credits, and incentives that have a proven return on investment and a record of successfully creating economic growth across diverse industry sectors should be protected. IEDA’s business and community incentives budgets need to be protected to provide economic developers the flexibility needed to attract/retain business and industry.
Small Business Resources:
Small businesses and startups have a different set of needs than established, legacy companies. With little to no tax liability, refundability is key to them as they grow and expand their operations. PDI supports the creation of new innovative tools that support high-skill jobs in the technology and software development sector, as well as ag and biotechnology.
Tax Increment Financing:
Local governments rely on the flexibility of TIF to address community growth challenges from workforce and housing shortages, to aging infrastructure, to redevelopment, to partnering with the State. PDI supports TIF and opposes efforts to weaken this important and flexible local economic development tool.
Workforce and housing are two of the biggest issues facing business, industry, and communities. Each year demand for Workforce Housing Tax Credits continues to surpass available annual funding. PDI continues to believe the annual appropriation for these credits should be raised to $40 million and the credits should no longer count against the state’s business tax credit limit. PDI supports the program’s new competitive scoring process that allows the best projects to be funded. More resources are needed for both the rural and urban program components. PDI also supports the concept of landbanking to support other creative housing solutions across Iowa.
PDI looks forward to the implementation of Future Ready Iowa, the Career and Technical Education bill, and the Computer Science bill from previous sessions, all significant milestones for Iowa. We support the continuation of effective 260E, WTED, and 260F workforce training programs. We encourage additional funding for 260F to train incumbent workers.
Brownfield & Grayfield:
This program has been vastly oversubscribed in the last five years, which has an immediate and substantive impact on communities across Iowa. Given the tremendous power of the Brownfield & Grayfield program that encourages redevelopment in aged or blighted areas, the amount of credits available annually should be increased from its current level of $10 million.
Iowa must increase its population and available workforce by any legal means possible. Immigration can have a major impact in the near-term. In 2016, immigrants in Iowa paid $891.6 million in taxes and had a combined $2.9 billion in spending power. Of the nearly 162,000 immigrants in Iowa, 70% are working age (18–64), compared to less than 50% of the native-born population. Immigrants are also 18% more likely to work than native-born Iowans.
Other reform priorities include streamlining processes for highly skilled workers, raising the cap on H1-B and H2-B visas, improving international student retention through use of work visas, and allowing employers to more easily recruit immigrant workers to fill labor needs.
Trails, parks and other quality‐of‐life amenities attract workers and businesses. The Legislature must adequately fund Enhance Iowa and establish a long-term funding mechanism.
Legislators are urged to resolve the school funding debate early in the session and strive for a less politicized process. PDI supports added flexibility for community school districts to determine how to best spend categorical funding to fit unique local needs.
Alternate Project Delivery:
A competitive and efficient environment must exist for infusing collaboration and innovation into public infrastructure projects. The Legislature should consider allowing alternative project delivery methods that provide the greatest value to taxpayers and support Iowa based contractors that bring the best qualifications and experience to public projects.
To create a level playing field across all corners of Iowa, the Legislature should continue to invest in broadband infrastructure that delivers high speed data connections to those who lack the necessary tools to grow business.
For More Information Contact:
Kelly Halsted, Legislative Committee Co‐Chair – 515-955‐8909; firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Kamp, Legislative Committee Co‐Chair – 515-232‐2310; email@example.com
Nick Glew, Legislative Committee Co-Chair - 319-743-4724; firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Campbell, Lobbyist – 515-554‐5838; Amy@ialobby.com
Craig Patterson, Lobbyist – 515-554‐7920; Craig@ialobby.com
The Professional Developers of Iowa is an organization of economic development professionals working to grow and develop Iowa’s economic base. PDI’s more than 310 members come from a variety of disciplines: county and regional developers, community developers, utilities, legal and financial firms, universities, community colleges, engineering and construction forms and rail transportation companies.
Professional Developers of Iowa
1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, IA 50023
Phone: (515) 243-4585