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Gov. Branstad to Lead Economic Development Trip to Chicago; Stresses Need for Property Tax Reform

Press Release

Location: Unknown

Gov. Terry Branstad will travel to Chicago on Thursday and Friday to highlight economic opportunities in Iowa, recruit businesses to locate within the state and encourage expansion among existing businesses. Branstad says the state has an eager, hard-working workforce, and a number of positive attributes on which to attract businesses.

Branstad expressed disappointment, however, that lower property taxes would not be among his selling points.

"It was my hope to be able to meet with businesses and highlight Iowa's competitive property taxes as they consider future expansion," said Branstad. "This is a real-world implication from the lack of action last session. As Illinois raises taxes on these companies, I believed Iowa was in a strong position to market itself as a state that doesn't put unneeded burdens on business, but instead welcomes business and jobs for our citizens. I will assure these businesses that this issue is not dead, and we will again work toward a more competitive tax structure next session."

Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds made property tax reform a key priority in the 2011 session, but the proposal failed in the closing days of session. Iowa currently has one of the highest commercial property tax rates in the country. A business in Iowa will pay more in commercial property taxes than they would in mid-town Manhattan, Philadelphia, or Chicago.

Lt. Gov. Reynolds still sees an opportunity to pass reform in the next session.

"Since the session ended in June, the call for property tax reform has been growing," said Reynolds. "Iowa's property tax system needs to be fixed. I believe both Republicans and Democrats can come together to create an attractive climate for job creation and prevent a looming $1.3 billion tax hike on Iowa's property owners."

Gov. Branstad departs from Iowa on Thursday, August 4, 2011, to talk with Illinois-based businesses that currently have operations in Iowa. Gov. Branstad also plans to talk with businesses that may have an interest in relocating or expanding business into Iowa.

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