The top republican in the Iowa House is raising questions about a new Iowa Department of Economic Development brochure touting Iowa’s business climate. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says the pamphlet is misleading. “To a certain extent, it’s a little humorous, but living in western Iowa, it’s not so much,” Rants says. “The department is comparing Iowa in terms of the Midwest and saying how Iowa ranks very well. The problem is South Dakota, apparently in the eyes of the Department of Economic Development, isn’t a Midwestern state, yet that’s where we’re losing a lot of our businesses to. That’s what’s really hurting and killing — killing — downtown Sioux City.” Rants says perhaps it’s just a marketing tool for the agency, but he suspects it may be because some state officials “have their heads in the sand” and don’t understand the border competition. Rants says South Dakota’s taxes and regulatory climate are luring business after business out of downtown Sioux City. Tina Hoffman of the Iowa Department of Economic Development says the brochure represents the top states that compete with Iowa for business. She says ,”That is a marketing piece that we use when representing the entire state. And so what we’ve done is take the states for which we’re compared against most regularily in terms of prospects.” She says they can’t put every state in the one brochure and says they try to segment it out into regions of the country. Hoffman says South Dakota isn’t at the top of the list when the state is competing for new businesses. She says when you look at a statewide view, Iowa is more often compared to the other states represented in the brochure. Hoffman says they’re well aware of the areas where South Dakota competes with Iowa. She says there are certainly times when Iowa is compared to South Dakota. She says brochures can only give a general overview, “but as we work with specific prospects we very definately take who they’re comparing us against and directly put Iowa on the same scale.” She says for projects that are considering South Dakota, they show how Iowa compares favorably.
You are here: / / Top Republican raises questions about DED brochure