Top 7 Legislative Wins for Business
Friday, June 14, 2013 7:00 AM
Property tax reform
Provides a 10 percent rollback over two years on commercial and industrial property taxes; 100 percent backfill to local governments for loss of revenue on the rollback; creates a property tax credit that will reach $125 million by fiscal 2015 for commercial and industrial properties; limits assessment growth to 3 percent on agriculture and residential properties; and extends the Property Assessment Appeals Board. Signed by Gov. Terry Branstad.
Increases funding to schools by 4 percent for fiscal years 2014 and 2015; increases beginning teacher pay to $33,500; creates teacher career pathways that include leadership positions providing high-performing teachers with additional responsibilities that include mentoring and professional development for other teachers; creates a Teach Iowa Initiative designed to recruit high-quality individuals to the teaching profession; requires a new student assessment to be in place by 2016 to measure student performance and outcomes; and creates a council to develop a new teacher and administrator evaluation system based on classroom results. Signed by Gov. Branstad.
Innovation Fund Tax Credit
Increases the tax credit to 25 percent from 20 percent and strengthens the marketability of the credit by allowing the credit to be transferred one time. Signed by Gov. Branstad.
Economic Development Tax Credit
Increases the amount of tax credits that the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is eligible to allocate from $120 million to $170 million per year. Various appropriations bills also provide about $18 million for specific business relocation and expansion projects that encourage job creation and retention, capital investment, employee training and higher wage levels.
Iowa reinvestment act
Establishes a new economic development program to help complete significant economic development projects; a portion of state sales tax can be rebated or reinvested into specifically designated redevelopment districts to facilitate economic growth. Past practice in Iowa has been to legislate projects – using sales tax revenue to finance a portion of the project costs – on an ad hoc basis. This legislation allows IEDA to determine which projects have merit based on a common standard and the projects’ economic impact on the local community, region and state.
Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits
Two pieces of legislation; One increases eligibility for smaller projects while also providing more opportunities to move larger projects forward; another increases funding for the program by $10 million to a total of $55 million per year. Signed by Gov. Branstad.
Employee stock ownership plan
IEDA receives $500,000 to continue forming a program to provide technical assistance, marketing assistance and loans to businesses that are interested in establishing employee stock ownership plans.