When Governor Branstad took office last year, he pledged to create 200,000 new jobs in the state. The director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) reported today the administration is still on target to reach that goal.
But, in a presentation before the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress Board, Debi Durham said – to date – state incentives provided to businesses for new projects or expansions have resulted in 13,478 jobs. “The first thing I get when I show this on the road is, ‘well, you’re a far cry from 200,000 jobs.’ Well, yes, if you look at it just in isolation, that’s correct,” Durham said.
“What you have to keep in mind is the intention was never, ever to incentivise 200,000 jobs. That’s not the plan. The plan is to incentivise 25 to 30 percent of the jobs and the rest of it will fill in organically.”
Durham said for every job created through state incentives, there’s a “multiplier effect.” She noted each industry has a different multiplier in terms of job creation. “What we have to gage is…the projects we’re incentivising, are they wealth creating opportunities and do they have a robust multiplier effect? If they do, those are the things we look at doing,” Durham said.
Between January 2011 and September 2012, the IEDA Board approved over $29 million in direct financial assistance and nearly $124,000 in tax credits to business expansion projects in Iowa. Durham said the awards have translated into $3.5-billion in capital investment in the state.