Key lawmakers from both political parties say it’s likely the Iowa legislature will boost the amount of state tax credits available to lure new businesses to Iowa.
This year state officials can offer a total of $120 million in state tax credits for a variety of business expansion projects. Lawmakers appear poised to raise that to $185 million for next year. Senator Steve Sodders, a Democrat from State Center, is chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee.
“It has been at that level before,” Sodders says. “We do put a cap on it, still, so that we’re responsible.”
In other words, state officials could offer no more than $185 million in state tax credits to expanding Iowa businesses or out-of-state firms planning new projects here. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, says Republicans have supported these tax credits in the past and are likely to again, but they want to consider the full range of state tax credits first.
“We’re just getting ready to transition from where we look at tax credits in isolation to start looking at them in their totality,” Paulsen says.
The GOP’s goal is to ensure there’s a good “balance” of state economic development incentives according to Paulsen. Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham says now is the right time to give her agency that extra 65 million dollars worth of state tax credits to hand out to business prospects.
“Right now the economy is opening up,” Durham says. “Now, you know, we’re at a tipping point because you will not see this activity last forever.”
Durham made her comments during a recent appearance on Iowa Public Television.