Branstad to Kick-Off Jobs Tour in Marion

By James Q. Lynch, Reporter

MARION, Iowa - Former Gov. Terry Branstad, who has set goals of spurring the creation of 200,000 private sector jobs and increasing family income 25 percent, will lay out the "how" of his economic development plan during an 11-city "Ready to Create Jobs" tour this week.

Branstad and his Republican running mate, Sen. Kim Reynolds, will kick-off their tour with an economic development policy announcement in Marion at 1 p.m. Aug. 17 at Rathje Construction, 305 44th St., Marion.

Branstad has set a goal of spurring the creation of 200,000 new private sector jobs and increasing family income by 25 percent. His announcement will "put some meat on that bone," spokesman Tim Albrecht said.

The new policy will build on those goals and "better position the state to create the 200,000 new jobs he wants to create," he added. "Obviously, what we're doing now is not working.

"This is going to be a commonsense approach — something that is sorely needed," Albrecht said.

The Branstad campaign also released a new ad highlighting the four-term Republican governor's commitment to job creation for Iowa's young people, according to his campaign manager, Jeff Boeyink.

"Too often, our graduates are forced to explore economic opportunities outside our borders, simply because the jobs don't exist here," Boeyink said. "Terry Branstad is committed to recruiting businesses, and helping existing employers expand here, and creating new economic opportunities for all Iowans."

The ad features young people talking about the lack of jobs and Branstad's track record of job creation. It can be seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NRMzBf6rTk.

So far, Branstad's job creation strategy has included reducing commercial property taxes and cutting corporate income tax rates in half. During his tenure as governor, incomes rose 26 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars, Branstad said.

Branstad cites a study that found a commercial property valued at $500,000 in Des Moines would pay more tax than similar property in New York City, Chicago, Kansas City, and Philadelphia. Also, an eastside Des Moines apartment complex valued at $1.46 million will pay over $66,000 in property taxes this year whereas a complex located in the SoHo area of Manhattan valued at $6.7 million will pay annual property taxes of about $33,000 — more than four times the market value and less than half the total tax.

Commercial property taxes in rural Iowa are equally non-competitive, according to the Branstad campaign. A commercial property valued at $100,000 in Hampton would pay more tax than similar property in Glencoe, Minn., Sidney, Neb., and Viroqua, Wis.

"We should immediately reduce the percentage of property taxes paid on new commercial property," Branstad has said repeatedly. "Then, phase down property taxes paid on existing commercial property over a four- or five-year period."

Iowa's top corporate income tax rate is 12 percent – the highest marginal rate in the nation. Even accounting for the 50 percent deduction of federal income taxes, Iowa's corporate income tax rate is the highest in the Midwest. See map for Midwest comparisons, according to Branstad.
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