Investments grow Iowa jobs and middle class

During the 2013 session, we took big strides to expand Iowa’s middle class through job creation and economic growth initiatives, including the largest tax cut in state history. Fixing our state’s property tax system will save Iowans $4.4 billion over 10 years by giving every class of property a permanent tax cut.

A big piece of this effort is the new Business Property Tax Credit, which reduces commercial property taxes, helping small businesses the most.  The Business Property Tax Credit will reduce taxes without shifting the burden to residential property owners through state reimbursements which will allow to local government to fully fund schools and continue providing services to the community. Commercial property owners can take advantage of the Business Property Tax Credit at For the first year, $50 million is available to commercial property owners, with applications for the credit on this year’s property taxes being accepted through January 15, 2014.

When the $125 million tax cut is fully phased in after three years, almost two-thirds of Iowa commercial properties—those valued at $145,000 or less—will be taxed at the same rate as residential properties. Bigger businesses also will get a break on the first $145,000 of their property. 

Other much-praised boosts to local business and job creation include:

•Enhancing economic development by allowing local governments to establish reinvestment districts.

•Increasing incentives for businesses to locate and expand in Iowa. Financial incentives were increased to $16.9 million, and the state’s Economic Development Tax Credit was increased by $50 million. These funds will help with relocation and expansion projects that encourage local investment, job creation, employee training and higher wages.

•Encouraging rehabilitation of historic commercial properties and business districts by expanding eligibility for Iowa’s Historic Tax Credits to assist small and large projects.

•Helping promising startups get off the ground by providing an Innovation Tax Credit for investment in early-stage, innovative companies. 

Learn more about job creation and business development assistance available in Iowa at


This is a legislative column by Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to

To contact Senator Ragan during the week, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise she can be reached at home at 641-424-0874. E-mail her at

Senator Ragan is an Assistant Senate Majority Leader, chair of the Human Resources Committee and vice-chair of the Health & Human Services Budget Subcommittee. She also serves on the Appropriations, Natural Resources & Environment, Rules & Administration and Veterans Affairs committees.