Governor Branstad will be in the Chicago area at the end of the week on a business recruitment trip.
“Iowa is quite a contrast with Illinois. Illinois is one of the states that’s got significant financial problems and they’ve gone the route of raising taxes on both individuals and businesses,” Branstad says.
Branstad will meet with Illinois-based business that already have operations in Iowa, as well as businesses that Branstad hopes might expand or relocate in Iowa.
“Now I’m not going to divulge the names of the other prospects,” Branstad says. “….It’s just not good economic development strategy.”
Branstad suggests this recruiting trip would have been more successful if legislators had agreed to cut commercial and industrial property taxes.
“Needless to say, I’m disappointed that didn’t get done,” Branstad says. “But I am tenaciously committed to seeing that it does get accomplished in 2012.”
Branstad has appointments to meet with executives with Medline Industries which has 300 employees in Dubuque; USG which has 200 employees in Fort Dodge; TransCo Railway Products which has 76 employees in Sioux City and SSAB, a Swedish company which recently expanded its operations at a steel plant in eastern Iowa.
“These are existing companies that already have invested in Iowa, that we’re going to be expressing our appreciation of the investments they made, encourage them to consider further expansions in our state,” Branstad says.
Branstad will be in Illinois on Thursday and Friday, accompanied by the state’s economic development director and a few other state officials.