When the State of Iowa changed the administration of the Historic Tax Credit program two years ago, it put one of its best economic development programs, not to mention $152 million of current and planned projects in Davenport, on hold. After a long legislative session with numerous political pitfalls, legislation that gets the program running again has passed the Iowa House and Senate, and is fully expected to be signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad.
After attempts for regulatory fix failed, last year, the Quad Cities Chamber made this issue one of its top priorities for the 2016 Iowa legislative session and organized and led a statewide coalition that worked to secure strong, bipartisan support for this legislation. Several issues arose along the way and threatened the bill’s livelihood, but HR 2443 eventually passed the Iowa House by a vote of 99-1 and the Iowa Senate by a vote of 49-0. This legislation transfers responsibility of the Historic Tax Credit program from the Department of Revenue to the Economic Development Administration; addresses a number of technical problems with the program; and directs the EDA to move the 43 projects currently backlogged along.
Throughout the entire session, the Quad Cities’ Iowa legislative delegation has been exemplary. Their leadership in ensuring the bill’s passage was evidenced by Senator Rita Hart and Rep. Phyllis Thede’s comments during the Senate (10:44:15) and House (3:47:50) debates. On behalf of the Quad Cities economy, the Chamber sincerely thanks state Senators Chris Brase, Roby Smith, Joe Seng, and Rita Hart as well as state Representatives Linda Miller, Jim Lykham, Norlin Mommsen, Cindy Winckler, Ross Paustian, Phyllis Thede, Gary Carlson, and Mary Wofe for their incredible leadership, persistence, and hard work.