Governor Terry Branstad wants Iowa to become the first state to offer a tax credit for transforming the “biochemicals” that are a byproduct of ethanol production. Branstad discussed the issue with former Iowa Governor and current U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday during a meeting in Washington, D.C.
“Secretary Vilsack, his department — the USDA, has done a pretty extensive report and they are putting together some federal programs to encourage and support this as well,” Branstad told Radio Iowa.
Branstad’s proposed state tax credit would not be for the ethanol production companies that make byproducts like corn oil and dried distillers grain when they make ethanol. Instead, the tax credit would be offered to companies that find new uses for those “biochemical” byproducts.
“This is something that we both think could be really beneficial for Iowa,” Branstad said. “There’s opportunity for us to get some federal assistance…Secretary Vilsack is really knowledgable about this and that’s an area where I see we have an opportunity to kind of team up and work together on.”
Vilsack gave Branstad the report the USDA released last week about biochemical production and Branstad read it on his way to West Virginia, where the National Governors Association is holding its summer meeting. Next summer, in 2016, the National Governors Association will meet in Des Moines and Branstad has invited Vilsack to be there for the event. Vilsack was Iowa’s governor in 2005, the last time Iowa hosted the summer meeting of the nation’s governors.