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Tag Archives: Incentives

In the Media: Cutting historic preservation tax credits

“There are a lot of buildings that would continue to sit empty or would have been demolished by now had that tax credit not been available to make the project economically sound,” said Steve Dust, president and CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber. “And that’s repeated all over Iowa.”

Steve Dust is quoted in an article by Erin Murphy, State house reporter for The Courier/Lee Enterprises, about Iowa projects helped by federal historic preservation tax credits and the possible effect on Iowa projects if Congress’ tax reform proposal is approved.

Cutting historic tax credits could cripple economic development, officials warn, Erin Murphy, The Courier, November 13, 2017

State tax incentives programs are ‘important tool’

All of the projects we have, regardless of size, there isn’t one that I can think of that wasn’t a good deal,’ Skubal said.

Lisa Rivera Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

Lisa Rivera Skubal

Read more of what Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, and other experts have to say about state and local incentives to companies in this article in the Quad-City Times.

After Apple deal, tax incentives face scrutiny, Erin Murphy, Quad-City Times, October 6, 2017

Waterloo’s Crystal Distribution Approved for IEDA Award

CEDAR VALLEY OF IOWA (August 18, 2017) — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today approved a tax credit award for Crystal Distribution Services, Inc. The company qualified for sales tax rebate on construction materials for a $5.5 million expansion project of its Waterloo facility.

IEDA application assistance was provided through the Alliance & Chamber’s business retention and expansion (BRE) services which focus on keeping and growing businesses in the Greater Cedar Valley. These services are provided to any business in the region, including investors in the Alliance & Chamber.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber economic development team of Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development, and Cassie Evers, Business Services Coordinator, collaborated with the City of Waterloo and IEDA to assist Crystal Distribution owner Tom Poe with the application process. Their goal was to ensure that the company’s project qualified and was approved this month by IEDA to allow time for construction to begin this year.

On Monday, Waterloo City Council unanimously approved development incentives for Crystal Distribution’s expansion and agreed to serve as a sponsor for the IEDA application.

Today, the IEDA board today awarded this project tax benefits under its High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program which provides qualifying businesses assistance to offset some of the costs incurred to locate, expand, or modernize an Iowa facility. In addition to the capital investment, Crystal Distribution’s project will create one additional job at a qualifying wage of $17.29 per hour.

According to the company’s website, Crystal Distribution provides temperature-controlled warehouse and repackaging services to food processing companies around the world. The company began operation in the Cedar Valley more than 100 years ago by cutting ice from the local river and distributing it around the country. Crystal Distribution is a current investor in the Alliance & Chamber.

Read August 28, 2017, IEDA news release here: Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $48 million in capital investment in Iowa

Read August 15, 2017, The Courier article here: Incentives for Crystal approved



Iowa Chamber Alliance study finds Iowa’s economic development toolkit effective, but under resourced

The study rates Iowa’s competitiveness with its neighbors and other highly competitive states in economic development programs

View study here

Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Chamber Alliance, a non-partisan coalition representing the 16 largest chambers of commerce and economic development organizations throughout the state, released today a new study examining Iowa’s relative competiveness in its economic development efforts. Deloitte Consulting LLP was commissioned to examine the competitiveness of Iowa’s state-level economic development incentives.

“This study confirms Iowa’s approach to economic development incentives is on the right track, but it also demonstrates that Iowa does not resource its economic development incentives at a competitive level,” said John Stineman, Executive Director of the Iowa Chamber Alliance.

The Deloitte study found that Iowa lags only behind Texas in the “usability” of its economic development incentives – an important factor in how a state measures up in competing for economic development investments. Texas is widely considered one of the most aggressive states in economic development in terms of its incentive funding, its programs and its business-friendly tax and regulatory climate.

However, on the financial value side of economic development – the ability to impact projects through financial incentives – Iowa lags significantly behind its neighbors as well as other leading economic development states.

“It is clear Iowa punches above its weight class in economic development. The approach and programs we have are working and the proof is in the projects. The question is, how many projects are we missing out on because we simply do not resource economic development efforts at a competitive level?” said Stineman.

The study examined Iowa’s economic development programs and funding compared to five other states: Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, South Carolina and Texas. South Carolina and Texas are consistently ranked as highly competitive states for economic development.

Other key findings of the study include:

  •  Iowa is at a competitive disadvantage in the availability of discretionary funds to help close deals as well as in offering corporate tax exemptions.
  • Iowa performs at peer level in property tax exemptions, sales and use tax exemptions, and research and development tax credit programs.
  •  Iowa has a competitive advantage in its workforce development incentive programs.
  • Other states have caught up to and begun to pass Iowa in data center and technology incentive programs – an area where Iowa was considered a leader previously.

“Iowa has a solid base of state-level economic development incentives tools upon which to build. However, to become more competitive, Iowa may wish to increase the funding level and flexibility of some of the State’s key incentive programs” states Darin Buelow, a Principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP.

  • The recommendations from Deloitte Consulting include:
  • Consider increasing the cap on Iowa’s economic development tax credits
  • Evaluate options to offer a “Deal Closing Fund” or more discretion to the Iowa Economic Development Authority in awarding direct financial assistance
  • Consider allowing the sale, refund or transfer of economic development tax credits
  • Consider expanding the Brownfield/Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credit program
  • Consider augmenting Iowa’s data center incentives.

“The opportunity is there for Iowa. We are well positioned to compete – if we resource our economic development efforts at the right level. We also need to review our programs to ensure we have usable and valuable incentives to help Iowa continue its economic growth in the future,” said Stineman.

For more information about the Iowa Chamber Alliance’s positions and legislative agenda, please visit www.iowachamberalliance.com. Copies of the study will be made available upon email request to john@iowachamberalliance.com.

About the Iowa Chamber Alliance

The Iowa Chamber Alliance’s mission is to put forth and enact an agenda to grow the state’s economy through support of proactive programs that stimulate economic growth opportunities for the entire state and its residents. The Alliance members include chambers and economic development organizations in: Ames, Burlington/West Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, the Quad Cities, Sioux City and Waterloo/Cedar Falls.

View the study here

Be part of something greater - The Cedar Valley of Iowa

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a regional economic community development corporation working to increase economic vitality and wealth in the Waterloo / Cedar Falls area and surrounding economic region. The Alliance & Chamber has approximately 800 members that represents over 40,000 employees