The first public hearing on state tax credits is underway today in Cedar Rapids, one day after Governor Culver released a 121-page report that raises red flags about some of the state’s largest tax credit programs. The report says three of the five largest credits — totaling more than $240-million — need better oversight.
One of the three credits is an incentive which encourages spending on research. Ed Wallace of the Iowa Taxpayers Association says the credit is important. Wallace says many of the programs that we have here in place in Iowa are spurring job growth and taking some of the burden off of businesses so they can continue to remain here and thrive here.
However, the report reads “a return on this investment cannot be quantified at this time.” David Osterberg of the Iowa Policy Project says there should be a cap on the credit. Osterberg says,”If it is limited, if there is a purpose that we’re pretty sure, if it can’t get any larger than “x” number of dollars, then we might be supportive of that tax credit.”
Wallace says he agrees there should be oversight. The report also shows a controversial tax credit for the film industry will not benefit the state treasury under its current structure. The second public hearing is Wednesday in Urbandale. The governor’s office says those who can’t make the hearings can go to www.governor.iowa.gov to post a public comment. Those comments will be provided to the tax credit review panel.
(Note the hearing was set to start at 9 a.m.)