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Economic Development

All reports by date

Big Money — Whose Benefit?

3/6/14

Designed to support start-up companies to do research, this costly program primarily benefits very large companies, with little scrutiny.

State Policy and Economic Growth

1/22/14

Public investments require public funding. And therein lies the rub. A continual diet of tax cuts deprives state and local governments of the ability to adequately fund public services.

Iowa Budget Dilemma for 2014

1/13/14

Iowa lawmakers must recognize the long-term impact of tax cuts on spending choices. Past choices will force future legislatures to lower investments on critical services on which economic growth depends.

Fisher: With economic development, some bad ideas never die

4/29/13

Local government officials are determined to force development to happen when it can’t stand on its own, creating oversupply that hurts existing businesses. Or the private sector happily rakes in all the new incentive cash to do something it would have done anyway.

Reducing Iowa Commercial Property Taxes

4/24/13

Both proposals are costly, so they affect state services to residents, and both play to a myth about Iowa taxes on business, which are below business taxes in most states already.

Owen: State approaches incentives in upside-down fashion

4/3/13

The world is upside down when state subsidies of business are presumed to be essential, and when a leading newspaper criticizes those who dare to question it.

Owen: No proof state benefits from business giveaway

3/30/13

By Mike Owen, Iowa Policy Project
It’s time for a little accountability.
Carrie Norris’ guest column (“Development initiatives have strengthened economy,” March 27) echoes business lobby cheerleading for Iowa’s research activities credit (RAC). Norris, president of the Homebuilders Association of Read more

Fisher: Heightened concern about business tax incentives

2/24/13

By Peter Fisher, Iowa Policy Project
Headlines in last weekend’s editions of The Gazette say so much: •  “State leaders didn’t do their homework” (Feb. 16 column by Jennifer Hemmingsen). •  “State’s business lures don’t measure the net catch” (Feb. Read more

IFP News: Selling Snake Oil to the States

11/28/12

States ranked better by ALEC for their policies actually have done worse economically.

Johnson County Examples Illustrate Problems with TIF

11/21/11

New Report Recommends Statewide Reforms to Stop Abuses
Full report plus executive summary (15-pg PDF) November 21, 2011Executive summary (2-pg PDF)Appendix (Maps by community) (9-pg PDF)News release below (2-pg PDF) 
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Poorly understood, hotly debated and often Read more