Economic Developement Topic for Legislative Forum

Written by on March 25, 2013 in News

Economic development isn’t just about bringing in new companies and there isn’t just one thing that entices a business to choose a certain location. Economic development was the main topic of discussion at Saturday’s legislative briefing, hosted by the Chamber government affairs committee. Jason Hutchinson joined Rep. Dave Heaton and Sen. Rich Taylor. Hutchinson is president and ceo of the Greater Burlington Partnership. He is also a member of the Professional Developers of Iowa Board of Directors and Legislative Affairs Committee. Hutchinson there is more to economic development than recruiting companies, there also has to be a focus on retentions, expansion and investment. Hutchinson said economic development is politically popular right now and incentives are a hot topic in the legislature mostly due to the support promised the fertilizer plant to be built in Lee County. Many in the state feel too much was promised. Hutchinson said the Professional Developers believe offering incentives is how the game is played. He said tax credits or incentives are the most popular inducement although cash and low interest or forgivable loans are also utilized. The professional developers board is also a proponent of going back to a $185 million tax credit cap….something that has to be approved by the legislature. It became evident during the discussion that there are other pieces in addition to tax incentives that can be used to lure a business to a community….housing, skilled work force. There was also discussion of the role of the state government in economic development. All three on the panel agreed that there needs to be a balance.

Comments are closed.