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Fact Check: Ad Claims Hatch Hiding Tax Returns

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — An ad out in Iowa’s Governor’s race is claiming Democratic State Senator Jack Hatch has something to hide in his tax returns.

One important note — the ad is from the Republican Governor’s Association, not Governor Branstad’s campaign.

We ran it through the KCRG-TV9 Fact Checker to see if it holds up.

The ad starts out claiming Jack Hatch won’t release his tax returns.

In fact, Hatch did release his 2013 tax return, but Governor Branstad’s campaign is pushing him to release returns DATING BACK TO 2010, as Branstad has done since returning to the Governor’s office.

So far, Hatch’s campaign says he’s following the same guidelines as Branstad — only releasing returns for years he is serving or running for governor.

The ad continues ”In the state senate, developer Hatch sponsored a bill to increase development tax credits by millions of dollars, while applying for tax credits for a 50 million dollar condominium project he was building.”

Hatch was one of four senators who introduced a bill to increase state historic tax credits by 14 million dollars.

His Hatch Development Group has frequently applied for and received state historic tax credits for developments, including its Chamberlain Building and Wellsport Fortwell Flats apartments in Des Moines.

The ad claims that’s a conflict of interest.

Iowa’s Senate Code of Ethics notes “a senator will sometimes be required to vote on bills and participate in committee work which will affect the senator’s employment and other monetary interests.”

In Hatch’s case, his proposal or vote on tax credit related legislation did not directly guarantee his company would benefit and therefore may not fit the definition of a conflict of interest.

Still, the facts behind the statement are solid.

KCRG-TV9 Fact Check rates this ad mostly true.

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