The latest economic-development proposal unveiled at the state capitol came today from the Chamber Alliance, a coalition of Iowa’s 17 largest metro areas. Dan Huber, chair of the Alliance, says their program is balanced, and says economic-development and chamber officials know there’s no “magic bullet” to transform the state’s economy overnight, and says this isn’t a flashy proposal, but thoughtful and sustainable, reflecting Iowa values. Huber, who’s also C-E-O of the Davenport Chamber of Commerce, says the Alliance plan doesn’t throw out ideas like Tax-Increment financing, the way the Farm Bureau’s proposal does. The debate mystifies chamber executives, as he says you don’t blame the wrench for a leaky faucet but use all tolls possible to accomplish goals like increasing the tax base in Iowa. Ron Corbett is president of the Cedar Rapids Chamber and says much of the Alliance plan would be paid for with gambling money. He says one of the most stable sources of funds is gambling and the lottery, Corbett says, and he suggests beefing up Vision Iowa.
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