The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

July 4, 2012

Bowman gives glimpse of issues around district

CLINTON — Recently, I attended the Dairy Association and Farm Bureau's Family Farm Day at Scott and Jessica Hingtgen's robotic dairy farm.

It was a great opportunity for me to see firsthand how technology is changing the way they operate their farm.

I appreciate the constituent feedback I’ve gotten on the different approaches the Legislature has proposed for commercial property tax reform.

I will continue to work with the Governor and House members to make sure we lower commercial property taxes in a fiscally responsible way so that we don’t see a tax shift to residential owners in the process.

Encouraging job creation and economic growth

With the Iowa economy on the mend, the Legislature has intensified its focus on continuing job creation and economic growth.

This year, we approved expanded job training, smart tax breaks, investments in the industries of the future, strengthening education, and ensuring workers and businesses have the resources they need.

Not every good idea made it to the Governor’s desk, but those that did will have a positive impact. They include:

• Jumpstarting new Iowa energy industries through tax credits for the construction and installation of solar energy systems and geothermal heat pumps (SF 2342)

• Continuing the tax break for consumers filling up with ethanol-blended fuel at the pump (HF 2472)

• Improving the flow of commerce by extending Iowa’s commercial and industrial highway network (SF 2153)

• Investing in efforts by Iowa’s state universities to work with businesses on technology commercialization, marketing, entrepreneurship and technical assistance (HF 2337, HF 2473)

• Boosting Iowa’s agriculture economy through year-round farmers’ markets (HF 2092)

• Keeping businesses in our communities by making it easier for an employer to sell their company to local workers through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (HF 2465)

• Investing in innovative local economic development ideas that create good jobs and growth in Iowa communities (SF 2239)

• Expanding opportunities for local auto dealers to offer vehicles for sale at fairs, shows and other exhibitions (SF 2249)

The Senate also approved several job creation initiatives that the House did not take up. I’ll keep pushing for these and other common-sense efforts to boost Iowa’s economy:

• Ensuring more publicly funded projects in Iowa use American-made goods.

• Allowing Iowa businesses the chance to match out-of-state bids when selling products and services to the state.

• Helping communities clean up and revitalize their business districts and industrial parks.

• Leveling the playing field for Iowa businesses by collecting sales tax on Internet purchases from large, out-of-state companies.

• Cutting taxes for low-income, working Iowa households by increasing the state Earned Income Tax Credit.

• Increasing tax credits to encourage local wind energy projects.

Senator Tod Bowman serves the people of Iowa's Senate District 13, which includes Jackson County, northeast Clinton County and southeast Dubuque County.

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Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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