Republican Terry Branstad says if he’s reelected Iowa’s governor, he’ll push for a tax credit for businesses that pay the tuition bills of employees who’re enrolled in community college. The credit would be worth up to half the tuition. Branstad contrasts his proposal with the controversial program that awarded state tax credits to filmmakers.

“This is limited to Iowans going to community colleges in Iowa for real jobs with real companies,” Branstad says. “…This is a well-thought-out, targeted plan designed to improve our competitiveness — not a pie-in-the-sky thing, a give-away to some out-of-state filmmakers. That’s the difference.”

Branstad is also calling for teaching entrepreneurial skills in the kindergarten classroom all the way through to the state’s universities.

“In this dynamic, changing that we have, we’ve got to encourage entrepreneurs,” Branstad says.

Branstad would sign legislation that would give waive taxes on “true” start-up companies during their first three years of operations.

“A lot of start-up companies don’t make it or don’t make much money in their first years of operation anyway, so we’re not looking at a large loss in (state) revenue,” Branstad says. “But what we are doing is providing some encouragement and incentives to entrepreneurs to choose Iowa instead of another state.”

Branstad would also extend those start-up companies a break on state sales taxes, worth up to $50,000 over a three year period. Branstad made his comments this morning during a news conference at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny.  Listen to the 25-minute event: JobsAnkeny

Governor Chet Culver, Branstad’s Democratic opponent, says “you can’t believe a word that Branstad says” when it comes to job creation, as Culver argues Branstad made job-related promises in his previous four campaigns for governor that weren’t fulfilled.