Hite Capitol Update – April 17, 2021

by Dustin Hite

Now that we have passed our second funnel, our focus shifts since only the Appropriations and Ways & Means committees are meeting for the rest of this session. I sit on Ways & Means, so my focus has been on taxes and fees while others on Appropriations work to get a budget agreed upon with the Senate and the Governor. Therefore, I want to focus this week’s newsletter on what we have been doing in Ways.

Iowa House Passes Business Property Tax Credit Simplification

House File 865 passed the Iowa House this week with bi-partisan support and simplifies the process for some property owners to receive the Business Property Tax Credit without interruption.

The Business Property Tax Credit was part of the overall 2013 property tax reform bill that was enacted
by the Iowa Legislature and signed by Governor Branstad. This credit is available for certain commercial, industrial and railroad properties. The credit is applicable to individual parcels as well as “property units.” One credit is available for each qualified parcel or property unit. The amount of the credit for a property owner depends on how many people apply for the credit. The credit is given out of a fund that is capped at $125.0 million annually.

House File 865 eliminates the need to refile for the tax credit when a portion of a parcel that gets the credit is sold or transferred. The bill strikes the provision in Code section 426C.3 that required a property owner to refile for the credit when a portion of a parcel or property unit was sold, transferred, or ownership otherwise changes. Instead it will just happen automatically. This way there will be no lapse in credit. The bill takes effect upon enactment and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

House Passes Support for Butchers, Bakers, and Candlestick Makers

The Iowa House also passed House File 857 this week with unanimous support. The bill creates the Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Fund and Program to be administered by IEDA in consultation with IDALS. The fund consists of any moneys appropriated to the fund by the general assembly and any other moneys available to IEDA for placement in the fund. The fund must be used to provide financial assistance as provided under the program. “Assistance” is defined to include assistance in the form of grants, low-interest loans, and forgivable loans. Currently, the House Economic Development Budget includes an appropriation of $750,000 to the fund.

IEDA must establish and administer the program for the purpose of awarding assistance to eligible businesses for projects that expand or refurbish, or that establish a new, state or federally inspected small-scale meat processing businesses licensed custom lockers, or mobile slaughter units. IEDA must establish eligibility criteria for the program by rule. IEDA is to give priority to eligible businesses whose proposed project will create new jobs; create or expand opportunities for local small-scale farmers to market processed meat under private labels; or provide greater flexibility or convenience for local small-scale farmers to have animals processed.

The bill also creates an artisanal butchery program task force within IDALS for the purpose of exploring the feasibility of establishing a community college and/or regent university artisanal butchery program. Members of the task force are appointed by Ag Secretary. Under the bill, the task force is to submit a report by December 31, 2021 to the general assembly that includes the task force’s findings and recommendations.

The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

So we may not have focused exclusively on bakers and candlestick makers, but this week has also been busy on the floor. I had the opportunity to floor manage a few bills Wednesday night, House Files 865 and 866, and Senate File 450. All of which passed the House with bipartisan support. In addition to these bills, the House passed SF 342, which is a bipartisan bill supporting our law enforcement officers.

There is still a lot of work to be done in the next couple of weeks as this year’s legislative session comes to a close, and I am looking forward to beginning consideration of budget bills here in the House. There is still time to visit to the Capitol this session, and I encourage you to do so. Please reach out to me at dustin.hite@legis.iowa.gov to schedule a visit, or if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Posted by on Apr 17 2021. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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