Tax Increment Financing
We have not yet seen a TIF bill, but we remain confident that one will be introduced soon, most likely containing three provisions: an elimination on the use of TIF for public buildings, a sunset for TIF districts that currently do not have an end date and a limitation on TIF debt that goes above and beyond the constitutional debt limit that is already in place for local governments.
The Iowa League of Cities this week released a report to their members to help educate about TIF and to share some analysis. The report is on the website HERE. PDI members should look over the report and familiarize yourself with some of the findings.
The best way for economic developers in Iowa to defend our ability to use TIF is to be talking to and providing real life (preferably local) examples to legislators about how your community is using TIF in a responsible way. The more legislators that have stories to share, the more likely it is that legislators will proceed very carefully on any proposed changes. Set up a meeting with your legislators TODAY. Arrange a special economic development tour for them and drive them around your area.
Legislation to replace the expiring Enterprise Zone program has been introduced in both the House and the Senate. HSB 542 and SSB 3129 is the product of several stakeholder meetings over the course of the last several months, in which PDI was heavily involved. HSB 542 passed out of subcommittee in the House easily this week, however it remains to be seen whether the Senate bill will face more challenges. A subcommittee meeting on SSB 3129 is set for this Wednesday afternoon.
PDI is registered in support of the IEDA's Enterprise Zone proposal, and we would urge members to consider contacting their Senators to share their support. The PDI members involved in the helping the IEDA arrive at this proposal believe the IEDA did a good job of coming up with an Enterprise Zone bill that represents a middle ground between all the parties involved. PDI brought several changes to the table that the IEDA has been gracious about accepting. At the end of the day, while there are still a couple of things we would push even farther, we are satisfied that the IEDA proposal strikes a good balance between value to the users of the program, manageability by the IEDA, and something we think we can get the Legislature to pass.
Please take some time to look over the proposal yourself and weigh in if you have thoughts about improving it even further. The IEDA produced a summary of the proposal that you can view HERE.
Broadband and Connect Iowa
There are now a couple of different bills aimed at facilitating more investment in broadband. The Governor's bill (HSB 515) and a counterpart in the Senate (SSB 3119) have similar goals with slightly different approaches to do just that. Please take some time to review the different bills, share them with industry folks in your area and then provide feedback to your legislators. They will want to know what job creators in their area think about this issue.
The Governor's proposal to expand apprenticeships and reform the way 260F is managed (SSB 3052) is being discussed in both chambers. The community colleges have registered concerns with the proposal. PDI is monitoring the bills and will be helpful however we can in bringing both sides together to pass a proposal that puts more money in job training programs. The IEDA has prepared a document that summarizes the proposal that is available HERE.
Brownfield and Grayfield Redevelopment
The IEDA's legislation (SSB 3050 and HSB 540) to make several enhancements to the Brownfield and Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credit program continues to move forward. These bills add eligibility for public buildings. You can view a summary of this proposal HERE.