To support our mission of growing the state, ICA focuses on economic growth as a key driver to grow Iowa’s population by attracting and retaining business and talent.

ICA supports the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) concentration on expanding markets in which the state is already a recognized leader. We seek opportunity to design responsible incentives that help attract innovative projects and develop business in advanced manufacturing, bioscience, and financial and insurance sectors; creating jobs, while ensuring transparency, accountability, and a return on investment for Iowa taxpayers. These economic development incentives and policies should meet the current demands. Competition for large scale investments has become increasingly intense and the tools necessary for the state need to be sized appropriately with the necessary flexibility.

Given the competitive economic development environment, Iowa must continue to provide valuable economic development tax credits and programs that compliment Iowa’s tax code and attracts business investment. While ICA supports tax credits and programs that have documented returns and clear objectives, we also oppose changes to or the elimination of economic development-oriented tax credits without regular and comprehensive review for usefulness, efficacy and return on investment.

Economic Development Tools

ICA views incentives as an integral part of our state’s success. Economic development tools should grow capital investment, increase wages and achieve quality job creation. ICA supports the following incentive programs:

  • High Quality Jobs Credits: This program is one of the main tools for IEDA to attract new business and incentivize expansion in Iowa’s leading industries.
  • Research Activities Credits (RAC): Prior to the 2022 tax reforms, the RAC provided an offset to Iowa’s uncompetitive corporate tax climate. The credit now acts as an incentive for certain research and development investment that allows businesses to strategically plan for the long-term.
  • Historic Preservation Credits: The tax credit aids the revitalization of historic properties that have the potential to catalyze surrounding growth and positively impact placemaking.
Finally, ICA is supportive of flexible policy tools available to local governments such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and abatement, as these are sometimes the most critical element in decisions that attract and expand business. These policies need to be modernized to reflect the increasing cost of housing and infrastructure. Utilized prudently, TIF generates significant return on investment and has positive long-term growth benefits for communities. 

Housing and Development

One clear inhibitor to talent attraction is housing, which remains a huge area of need in every community. Impacting housing will take an all-in strategy that impacts all levels of the housing ladder. The Governor and Legislature’s budget expansion for the Workforce Housing Tax Credit in 2021 addressed backlogs for a program that has a proven return on investment, but continues to show an oversubscription. New strategies for housing development should be considered to impact this need, along with continued funding for the Brownfields/Grayfields Development Tax Credits, which provide resources to address large lot vacancies and allow local communities to thoughtfully develop.