The Iowa Chamber Alliance is urging lawmakers and the Governor to simplify Iowa’s income taxes, ensure long-term financing for the new state economic development fund and dramatically change the way state road construction money’s distributed. Debi Durham of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce says the development officials believe any tax changes, however, should reduce the amount of tax revenue the state collects.. The Alliance supports a modified “flat tax” on income with just two rates. Ken Anderson of the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce says more road construction and maintenance money needs to go to cities, where most of the traffic is.Anderson says the formula that distributes road money was written in 1949, last updated in 1989, and pays little attention to allocating the money to areas with “growth potential.” Teresa Wahlert of the Greater Des Moines Partnership says the state’s largest Chambers of Commerce believe either the cigarette tax needs to be hiked, and the proceeds dedicated to the “Grow Iowa” fund or some other “stable” source of funding identified.Bob Mundt of the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce says the state needs a better marketing effort to lure businesses and individuals to Iowa. Mundt says there are a lot of success stories in Iowa, and there needs to be a focus on how “progressive” Iowa is. Governor Tom Vilsack says the Chamber Alliance is suggesting a “comprehensive” approach. Vilsack says he looks forward to working with Chamber of Commerce officials and legislators to advance as many of the Alliance’s ideas as possible in the next year or two. The following Chambers of Commerce are part of the Alliance: Ames, Bettendorf, Burlington/West Burlington, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Clinton, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Greater Des Moines, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Mason City, Ottumwa, Siouxland, and Waterloo.
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