Category: Iowa Economy

Local Economic Development Through Youth Entrepreneurship

business start-upWell, another class of high school graduates are killing time until they begin their college experience. In four, five, or six years, many of them will graduate from college, and move to Dallas County so they can work as temps at Wells Fargo.

Meanwhile, town squares across Iowa are emptying out. I’ve spent some time exploring small towns in rural Iowa, and there are common threads that threaten to further damage the prospects of the young, and may even threaten the existence of many towns across the state.

And so it goes; young people leave to try and buy jobs that don’t matter (and often don’t exist in large numbers), buildings stand unused, and eventually the towns just collapse into stagnant malaise.

What Muscatine Has


Steve Goes to a Career Fair, Asks Obnoxious Questions

job fairsHaving nothing better to do, I decided to spend Monday morning on the DMACC campus for a spring career fair. I wanted to wander around and ask questions to people to try and gauge their perception of the job market, but I had no intention of simply administering a poll. No, I was going to make people defend their statements by asking why they held that belief, like Socrates but without the profoundness.

I asked jobseekers if they were feeling optimistic or pessimistic. I asked recruiters about what kind of people they are looking for, both in terms of skills and personality.

Optimistic, They Think

Personally, I believe that optimism is stupid and should be hated, but I appear to be alone in this sentiment. …


Future of Commercial Tax Reform This Session Shaky

tax battleDespite both Parties rhetoric to the contrary, I am hearing the chances of any significant Commercial Tax Reform in Iowa is dwindling.

Though legislation has passed each chamber, the Conference Committee tasked with finding a compromise both sides are comfortable with will struggle mightily.  This is largely due to the fact that the structure for reforming the tax code that passed by each chamber are not compatible with each other.  While Senate Democrats are insisting on a tax credit formula which businesses apply for and are granted, the House Republicans and the Governor want changes to the percentage assessed values are taxed at as well as lower caps on local property taxes.

I highly doubt that either side will give much on their chosen structure …


What You Need To Know In The Upcoming Commercial Property Tax Battle

One of the top three priorities for the upcoming legislative session will be finally putting something on the books to bring Iowa’s commercial property tax rate in line with the rest of the nation.  After much angling by both sides last year, ultimately no adjustments were made to the tax code.

Below you will find a very brief recap and analysis of the three plans that were on the table last year.  They are important to know since past will certainly be prologue in this debate.  Both sides are essentially pushing the same proposed solutions as they did a year ago—and one way or another the law will reflect whichever side wins on the issue.

 

Governor Branstad’s Plan (House Study Bill 519)

This plan …


Overview: The Every Iowan Economic Empowerment Act Or The Empowerment Act

Below is a brief overview of a bi-partisan initiative that is set to be brought to the floor of the Iowa Legislature when it gavels in next session.  Once it is brought to the floor I will publish a more detailed look at it.  As noted on Wednesday, Sen. Brad Zaun, Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, and Rep. Kevin Koester have already signed on to support the measure and it will be interesting to see the reaction from both sides once the session starts.

———————————————————————————————

The Every Iowan Economic Empowerment Act or The Empowerment Act takes advantage of our state’s strengths in two ways.

I. Rewarding Hard Work & Sacrifice Provision

The first component of The Empowerment Act rewards the hard work and sacrifice of Iowans by …


A Rare Bi-Partisan Legislative Effort Launches Today In Des Moines

Especially after the last two years of bitter political fighting in Iowa, when you hear an initiative is being co-championed by Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, Brad Zaun and Kevin Koester–you take note.

Below is the full press release announcing this effort.  Though we are closing down shop tomorrow for Thanksgiving, on Friday we will run a detailed look at the legislation so you can form your own thoughts on its merits.

————————————————————————————————————

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Contact:

Rev. Bobby Young, President

515-491-0905; [email protected]

Jonathan R. Narcisse, Advisor

515-770-1218; [email protected]

 

 Iowa Urban Initiative To Announce Economic Empowerment Act

On Wednesday, November 21 at 8:15 a.m. at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, 1338 – 9th Street in Des Moines, the Iowa Urban Initiative will …


Iowa Senate Races: A Closer Look At The Leaners (SD 38)

(For a complete overview by TCR: Iowa of the Iowa Senate races click here)

The Candidates

Tim Kapucian (R)  vs.  Shelley Parbs (D)

Tim Kapucian is the incumbent, having first been elected to the Senate in 2009.  Shelley Parbs is a first time candidate and a production worker at Rockwell-Collins.

The District

Iowa Senate District 38 is located Northeast of Des Moines, halfway between Polk County and the Illinois border.  It is made up entirely of three whole counties (Poweshiek, Iowa, and Benton).  The number breakdown of registered voters in SD 38 is as follows: (R-12,549) (D-10,963) (NP-16,512), which leaves a Republican advantage of +1,586.

The Race

Since being elected in 2009 Tim Kapucian has taken on a high profile role in the Senate …


Completely Pointless and Utterly Absurd

First, some chemistry; iodine turns black when exposed to starch. So, a lighter ink which contains iodine will turn black when it comes into contact with starch, which is included in the manufacturing process of standard copy paper. When the ink is used on paper that doesn’t contain starch (such as most paper made with cotton fiber instead of wood pulp) the ink will maintain a sort of brownish-yellow color.

If you pay for gasoline with a fifty dollar bill, chances are the cashier will make a mark on it with a counterfeit detector pen. American currency, made of cotton fiber and not including starch, will leave the ink that lighter color. Counterfeit currency printed on regular paper will make the ink turn black.

Interestingly …


Iowa Senate Races: A Closer Look At The Leaners (SD 42)

(For a complete overview of all the Iowa Senate races click here)

The Candidates

Larry Kruse (R) vs. Rich Taylor (D)

Larry Kruse has been on the Lee County Board of Supervisors since 2002, and Rich Taylor is a retired HVAC Technician for Fort Madison Iowa State Penitentiary and a former Union Steward and Treasurer

The District

Senate District 42 sits in the very Southeastern corner of Iowa.  It includes all of Lee, most of Henry, and small parts of Jefferson and Washington counties.  The Democrats start with a registration advantage of 2,408, with the breakdown being: (D- 13,344) (R- 10,936) and (NP-13,501).

The Race

Both candidates won primaries to gain their parties nomination, but the path each took was very different.  Democrat Rich …


3 Questions With Iowa Senate Candidate Dave Edwards

Dave Edwards is the Republican candidate for Iowa Senate District 16, the vast majority of which covers Des Moines and then swings Southeast to include Pleasant Hill.

While there is no getting around the fact that this is a Democrat stronghold (they have double the number of registered voters), if any Republican can win this district it is most certainly Dave Edwards.  What makes this race one of the most fascinating in the state this year is that Mr. Edwards is a blue collar, union member who is bringing the fight to Democrats on their turf.  He is challenging an incumbent who has already been in the Iowa Senate for 18 years (and was in the Iowa House before that), and few would argue …


Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 7)