Heartland tax credit request denied
DES MOINES — The Iowa Economic Development Authority board today turned down an application from Des Moines-based Heartland Co-op for a $1.55 million tax credit under the High Quality Jobs program for the construction of a 4.4 million bushel grain elevator in Fairfield.
Those in attendance at today’s meeting were Heartland Co-op CEO Tom Hauschel and two attorneys for Heartland Co-op as well as members of the local community group AHEAD-Iowa and Jim Larew, legal counsel for AHEAD-Iowa.
According to Larew, a key factor in the board’s decision was the fact that while creating five new high quality jobs, the Heartland Co-op project would also result in a projected loss of four to five jobs at other grain handling facilities in Fairfield.
“The High Quality Jobs program is intended to create a significant net gain of employment, and the evidence before the Board was that at most, this would create a net gain of two jobs in the local grain handling industry,” said Jim Larew in a statement. “ “For a request of $1.55 million dollars, that seemed to be a ratio that the taxpayers of Iowa cannot afford. The project did not qualify under the criteria of the state of Iowa to be worthy of a grant of this size.”
The Ledger left a voice message for Hauschel seeking comment on the board’s decision. Hauschel had not returned the Ledger’s request for comment as of press time.