Iowa is in the top 10 states for growth, productivity and livability, according to a report this summer from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The report, “Enterprising States: Policies that Produce,” reflects Iowa’s success in putting job creation first. The business group ranks Iowa fifth in growth in economic productivity, sixth in per-capita income growth, ninth in exports growth and eleventh in growth of gross state product.
We’re on the right track, but there’s so much more we can do to ensure Iowa continues recovering from the national recession. For starters, I’ll be pushing for efforts that have received bipartisan approval in the Senate but weren’t taken up by the House, including:
• Making sure local businesses selling products and services to the state of Iowa have a chance to match out-of-state bids.
• Ensuring more tax-funded projects in Iowa use American-made goods before turning to foreign imports to fix Iowa’s roads, bridges, schools, water and sewage systems, and other public infrastructure.
• Providing tax incentives to help communities clean up and revitalize their business districts and industrial parks.
• Offering tax credits to encourage wind energy projects, with some of the credits reserved for small producers who install a wind energy system in wind innovation zones.
• Cutting taxes for Iowa’s low-income, working households—including the families of 37 percent of Iowa’s children—by increasing the state Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC is an effective anti-poverty program that boosts the economy when families spend those dollars locally on food, gas, car repairs and medical bills.