Governor Tom Vilsack will push for more state grants for cultural andrecreation projects around the state. Last spring, the Iowa Legislaturecreated the “Vision Iowa” program to hand out millions to help financeconstruction of projects like sports arenas, museums and convention centers.Vilsack says the 180-million available NOW isn’t enough. “Vision Iowa”grants are financed by gambling revenues. The state-licensed boats inOsceola and along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, plus the three racetracks, pay taxes to the state. Gambling taxes are placed in a special”infrastructure” account to pay for one-time projects. Last spring,legislators dedicated 300-MILLION to the “Vision Iowa” program, but at least100-million will be spent paying the interest on bonds. The “Vision Iowa”board will meet in January to begin reviewing the applications from citiesthat hope to land grants for planned attractions.
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