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IA Governor Unveils Public-Private Agency

Gov. Terry Branstad plans to unveil details Monday about a new economic development authority that would replace the existing agency, according to a report in the Des Moines Register.

Gov. Branstad is expected to introduce the new Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress at his weekly press conference. He campaigned on a plan to scrap the existing Iowa Department of Economic Development, saying it was dysfunctional, citing mismanagement of the state’s film tax credit program, which resulted in the dismissal of several top economic development administrators.

Gov. Branstad has said he wants a new public-private agency that’s more responsive to business needs. Debi Durham, the new economic development director, told lawmakers last week that she believes an authority gives the state greater flexibility to help expanding businesses.

According to Durham, a partnership may make it easier for Iowa businesses to access federal industrial revenue bonds.

Gov. Branstad also plans to cut corporate income taxes by half and would reduce commercial property taxes by 40 percent over five years. He want to maintain a pared-down Iowa Values Fund for business incentives, but is eliminating the Iowa Power Fund, designed to spark renewable energy development.

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