Legislators of both parties have decided the state should assemble a two billion dollar pot of money to lure biotech and life science companies to Iowa. That’s four times what Governor Tom Vilsack originally suggested, but Vilsack’s not criticizing the bigger idea.Vilsack says the decision to go with a two billion dollar fund is a positive step. He says the “trick” will be figuring out how to finance the deal. The Farm Bureau has suggested a statewide property tax. Others suggest special tax credits for investors, or using gambling taxes to back the sale of state bonds — essentially borrowing the money from investors who’ll be paid back several years later.He says there are a lot of ways to do this.Vilsack says there are a lot of ways the fund can be created, and he sees a tax increase as a last resort. Vilsack says the only “politically plausible” way to raise a tax to finance the deal would be to lower one tax that’s seen as “onerous” and raise a tax that’s more “palatable” so there’d be a tax shift rather than a tax increase.
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